Retailers remain committed to transitioning blue box to full extended producer responsibility - Retail Council of Canada
Advocacy | Ontario | Sustainability

Retailers remain committed to transitioning blue box to full extended producer responsibility

October 19, 2020

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) appreciates the unprecedented level of engagement with the Ontario government over the past year regarding transitioning the blue box recycling program to an extended producer responsibility system.  RCC and our members remain committed to a system wherein both costs and control shift to industry for all residential recycling.

RCC and our members continue to believe that organizations who make packaging decisions should pay for end-of-life residential recycling.  This is a time-proven method which creates a strong incentive for businesses to move away from hard to recycle materials while continuing to optimize packaging methods.  Extended producer responsibility is a powerful policy tool which facilitates a circular economy.

“Retail as a sector represents the largest industry paying into Ontario’s blue box program.  Retailers share a common view that plastics, printed paper and packaging do not belong in landfills” said Diane J. Brisebois, RCC’s President & CEO.

RCC supports many components of the proposed regulation announced today, including the three-year transition schedule as well as the establishment of high targets to ensure Ontario is a leader in diversion and recycling.  There are a few areas that require further alignment between government and industry, such as the need for increased flexibility for producers to support efficiency, and we hope to see continued progress on these through ongoing engagement.

Our producers have made significant investments to support the development of Ontario’s current blue box recycling system. Ontario’s 1,900 stewards provide around $135 million each year to support municipal collection and processing.  Since the blue box program started, businesses have contributed more than $1.5 billion.  As a result of these investments, today’s blue box program is available to roughly 95% of households in Ontario and continues to exceed the province’s recycling target of 60%.

Retail Council of Canada:

Retail is Canada’s largest private sector employer with over 2.1 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $76 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were $385 billion in 2019. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two-thirds of core retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants.

For more information or to schedule media interviews, please contact:
Michelle Wasylyshen