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Driving consolidation and efficiency: Ontario Blue Box amendments

April 21, 2022

The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) supports the April 19 amendments to Ontario’s Blue Box regulation, as these changes streamline the development of a common collection system which will be 100% managed, operated, and funded by producers. The regulation impacts businesses generating over $2 million in revenue. This is a key win for RCC as the amendments follow several months of advocacy with the Ontario government.

Ontario’s amendments now support the development of a common collection system operated by an administrator which creates a unified and centralized approach that will bring the efficiencies, innovation and investment needed as Ontario develops a circular economy. With this administrator in place, it is now more likely for producers to achieve operational cost savings via a province-wide harmonized system that drives competition for collection services through a fair and transparent tender process.

Unfortunately, the Ontario government did see fit to give newspaper companies a writ-large exemption from the blue box system. In 2022, Stewardship Ontario lists the in-kind contribution from newspapers as $3,007,688. RCC estimates that, by 2026, non-newspaper producers will be forced to pay 280% of that cost (plus inflation) to subsidize the recycling of the newspaper sector – nearly $8.5M per year.

Overall, we believe the changes made will ensure a smooth transition to full producer responsibility starting on July 1, 2023 to December 31, 2025 as originally planned. We look forward to remaining actively involved as a trade association, representing the needs of our retailers, as Ontario strives to achieve some of the highest recycling targets in North America.

For more information, please contact:

Sebastian Prins
Director, Government Relations (Ontario)
sprins@retailcouncil.org
416 467-3759

Michael Zabaneh
Vice President, Sustainability
mzabaneh@retailcouncil.org

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