Regulation - LGIC

Amendments to the blue box regulation

Regulation Number(s):
O. Reg. 349/22: BLUE BOX
Instrument Type:
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016
Summary of Decision:
On April 13, 2022, the MECP amended the Blue Box Regulation to support Ontario's shift to reduce burden and complexity, and help streamline the path forward for producers, PROs and the waste sector to collaborate on a province-wide collection system for blue box materials.

The changes do not impact the regulation's outcomes, including expanding the blue box to more materials, more communities, and more locations, as well as some of North America's highest diversion targets.

Changes will not impact timelines for municipalities that will begin transitioning to the new program on July 1, 2023.

We made the following key changes to the regulation.

1. Remove the rule making process and allocation table from the regulation

• PROs will no longer be required to create allocation rules or an allocation table that allocates different sources to each PRO or producer.

2. Make each producer responsible for meeting collection requirements for every eligible source in Ontario

• Each producer/PRO will be responsible for providing blue box collection to each eligible source in the regulation.
• Producers, through their PROs, will be expected to collaborate to deliver a cost-effective common collection system that services every eligible source and enables every producer to meet its collection obligations.

3. Require PROs that represent the majority (over 66%) of blue box tonnage to report on how they will establish a province-wide collection system.

• PROs that represent producers responsible for more than 66% of all reported blue box tonnes as of April 1, 2022, will be required to provide a plan to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) by July 1, 2022 that describes:
- How they are establishing and operating a collection system for all eligible sources.
- How they intend to make collected material available for processing, how it will be processed and where it expects receiving facilities will be located in Ontario.
- How they intend to provide promotion and education for the collection system.
• Only one plan may be submitted to RPRA. The plan will be posted on RPRA's public registry to inform producers that there is a plan for province-wide collection for them to participate in.
• This plan will provide information to producers, municipalities and the waste sector on how PROs will organize and operate the common collection system.

4. Exempt newspaper publishers from collection, management and promotion and education requirements while ensuring newspapers are still collected in the blue box.

• To qualify for the exemption, newspaper must account for 70% of a producer's blue box supply.
• Newspaper includes any protective plastic wrapping and any supplemental advertisements and inserts provided with the newspapers.
• Newspapers will continue to be collected in the blue box system.
• This recognizes the vital public service role newspapers play in our communities while maintaining environmental outcomes.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The proposed regulation amendments would have no new overall direct compliance cost to business. The amendments shift some costs among sectors, while reducing regulatory burden associated with establishment of the province-wide blue box system.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
Summary of Proposal:
The Blue Box Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) came into effect on June 3, 2021. It requires producers to collect and divert paper, packaging and single use items. Producer responsibility organizations (PROs) are implementing the Blue Box Regulation by developing a province-wide common collection system on behalf of producers.

On April 13, 2022, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) amended the Blue Box Regulation to support the implementation of Ontario's shift to producer responsibility for blue box programs.

Please see the summary of decision for more information.
Contact Address:
8 Floor, 40 St Clair Avenue West, Toronto M4V 1P5
Effective Date:
April 14, 2022