A producer responsibility organization, or PRO, is a business established to contract with producers to help them meet their regulatory obligations under the Blue Box Regulation. Under the regulation, producers of Blue Box materials are responsible for meeting mandatory collection, management and promotion and education requirements for end-of-life packaging and products.
PROs can help producers meet their regulatory obligations by:
- Arranging, establishing, or operating a collection or management system
- Arranging, establishing, or operating promotion and education system
- Preparing and submitting reports
- Representing a producer for any purpose under the regulation
PROs operate in a competitive market and producers can choose the PRO (or PROs) they want to work with. A producer must have a contract with a PRO to rely on the systems they have established to meet producer requirements. The terms and conditions of each contract with a PRO may vary.
Note: A processor retained by a producer solely for the purposes of processing Blue Box material is not a PRO.
An obligated producer who chooses not to contract a PRO for these services must establish and operate their own collection, management and promotion and education systems. Learn more about producer obligations under the Blue Box Regulation here.
How do PROs operate?
PROs will establish and operate common collection systems to replace the hundreds of individual municipal and First Nation Blue Box programs operating across Ontario under the Waste Diversion and Transition Act, 2016. In January 2023, Circular Materials and Ryse announced the execution of a System Access Agreement to operate a common collection system. The System Access Agreement sets out the administrative, operational and procurement policies and practices by which this common collection system will be operated. Circular Materials is the Administrator of this common collection system and can be contacted for more information.
PROs will also establish and operate management systems to ensure that Blue Box materials collected through common collection systems are recycled and turned into recovered resources. These recovered resources can be counted towards meeting a producer’s management requirement.
In order to help producers meet their promotion and education requirements, PROs will inform residents in Ontario about the changes to their Blue Box programs and how to correctly dispose of Blue Box materials when they are ready to discard them.
All collection, management and promotion and education systems must meet the requirements set out in the Blue Box Regulation. For more information, see the Blue Box producer webpage.
Signing up with a PRO
The following PROs are registered with the Authority. Select a PRO below to find their contact information:
Note: Stewardship Ontario is not a PRO for the purposes of meeting producer obligations under the Blue Box Regulation. Producers can only work with companies that are registered as PROs with RPRA and are listed as such on RPRA’s website.
Important considerations about working with PROs:
- Almost all producers will work with a PRO to meet their collection, management, promotion and education obligations.
- Producers are not required to sign up with a PRO. The option to contract with a PRO is a business decision that will be determined by each individual producer. Producers can choose to meet their obligations without a PRO.
- Producers can work with more than one PRO and can enter contracts at different times. For instance, a producer may have a different PRO for meeting their collection, management, promotion and education, and reporting requirements.
- Collection, management and promotion and education requirements came into effect on July 1, 2023, when the first communities in Ontario transitioned to producer-run Blue Box collection services. Producers were required to sign up with a PRO or establish their own systems to meet those obligations by July 1, 2023.
How to register as a PRO
PROs are required to register with the Authority within 30 days of being retained by a producer. To assist Blue Box producers in identifying the PROs they want to meet their collection and management requirements, PROs are encouraged to register with the Authority as soon as possible.
If you are interested in registering as a Blue Box PRO, contact our Compliance and Registry Team at 833-600-0530 or email@example.com.