Full Extended Producer Responsibility, or full EPR, is a policy approach that places financial and operational responsibility for the end-of-life management of consumer products and packaging on producers. EPR is beneficial because it works. As an example, in Europe it has helped many jurisdictions attain leading resource recovery rates and we are proud that British Columbia was the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a full EPR approach for packaging and paper products. Ontario’s Blue Box reforms will be a strong catalyst for enhanced recovery right here at home, and eventually across other Canadian jurisdictions too.
Today, Ontario producers supply 900,000+ tonnes of packaging and paper products into the Ontario market. This material must then be collected from 5.5 million single family, multi-family, and seasonal households across the province. Ontario’s new regulation will see 360+ eligible communities transitioning from municipal responsibility to producer responsibility over a short period of only 30 months, beginning in just under two years. Furthermore, additional regulatory obligations will add complexity by reaching into new sectors, including schools, long-term care homes, and public spaces. The new regulation not only transfers responsibility, but also increases reporting requirements and the volume of material that must be collected, sorted, processed, and resold.
Ontario’s new Blue Box reforms were announced on June 3, 2021. Recycling operations in communities will transition to producer responsibility starting July 2023 with all communities transitioning by December 31, 2025. For producers, they have obligations now to prepare to register with RPRA by October 1, 2021. The shift towards a full EPR-focused regulatory regime will make Ontario the second province (following British Columbia) with a broad EPR requirement for residential recycling and the first to expand into schools, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, and some public spaces. Although the new framework will be gradually phased in, it will take significant work and negotiations on our part and the part of producers to achieve a seamless transition with minimal to no disruption to Ontarians.
Under the new Blue Box Regulation, producers in Ontario will either need to meet the full EPR regulation on their own or they will need to join a producer responsibility organization (PRO).
We know producers are looking for a proven and experienced turn-key solution that ensures the best value, fair treatment, and confidence in outcomes and we believe RRA is positioned to deliver exactly that. By working collaboratively with producers, RRA aims to build a system that delivers the best value to producers ensuring they’re positioned to meet regulatory requirements across Canada and, eventually, North America.
Leveraging GFL’s proven ability to launch significant and integrated collection/post-collection programs and CSSA’s unparalleled compliance and administration expertise positions RRA with the knowledge and experience to provide an optimal PRO offering that producers can trust. By choosing RRA, producers of designated products and packaging in Ontario immediately have the technical and technological capabilities necessary to achieve 100% compliance with their obligations under Ontario’s Blue Box Regulation.
Under a modernized era of full extended producer responsibility (EPR) in Ontario, producers of designated products and packaging will be operationally and financially responsible for the collection, sorting, and recovery of recyclable materials in homes, schools, and other spaces province-wide.Learn more