Regulatory amendment to Ontario Regulation 344 (Disposable Containers for Milk)
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Environmental Protection Act
Summary of Decision:
Regulation 344 (Disposable Containers for Milk) has been amended to provide options for milk producers to use containers that are widely accepted in recycling programs or are managed through a deposit return program. This will provide flexibility to milk producers while still protecting the environment.
After considering input received from stakeholders on this proposal, a decision was made to implement the amendment to the regulation. The regulation amending Regulation 344 was filed with the Registrar on April 6, 2018 and is now in effect.
The amendment gives milk producers the option to use containers widely accepted in recycling programs across Ontario. This is in addition to the existing option of using containers that are managed through a deposit return program.
The amendment will not prevent the continuation of existing deposit return programs for milk containers if producers choose to continue with those programs. The amendment is consistent with Ontario's movement towards full producer responsibility and aligns with the Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
It is estimated that the proposed amendment would moderately reduce both the direct compliance cost and the incremental administrative cost to businesses.
January 10, 2018
Summary of Proposal:
In Ontario, the packaging of fluid milk is regulated under R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 344 (Disposable Containers for Milk), which has been in effect for decades and predates the establishment of the Blue Box program across the Province. Under this Regulation, milk containers require a deposit to be charged unless they are refillable glass containers, plastic film pouches, laminated containers (not greater than 1 litre), coated paper containers, or any disposable container with a capacity less than 1 pint. The Regulation does not permit the use of different packaging material (e.g. PET or HDPE milk
containers) with a capacity greater than 1 pint unless a deposit is charged under an agreement between the dairy manufacturer and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (the ministry) is proposing to amend Regulation 344 to provide two options for milk producers to use containers that are collected through
1. a deposit return program, or
2. the current Blue Box program or a recycling program that services over 90% of Ontario households.
The proposed amendment would not impact the existing deposit return programs for milk containers if producers choose to continue with those programs. The proposed amendment is consistent with Ontario's movement towards full producer responsibility without compromising environmental outcomes. The proposed amendment aligns with the Waste-Free Ontario Strategy.
In addition, the proposed amendment would create a level playing field for the milk industry to compete with milk alternatives (almond/soy beverage containers) that are not subject to the Regulation. The proposed amendment provides the same options for new materials and innovative packaging that may enter into the marketplace in the future and supports the government's burden reduction initiative.
April 6, 2018