Blue Box Regulation Update

May 11, 2021

We had hoped that the Blue Box regulation to transition blue box programs to full producer responsibility would be finalized by now.  AMO President Smith has sent a letter to Premier Ford and all PC Caucus on April 16 regarding the continued delay with the Blue Box regulation.  There is urgency to get this regulation finalized for municipal governments.  And it needs to happen quickly to allow for the transition timeline to be met.  

The regulation is the product of over two years of consultation and broad agreement between all stakeholders including producers, municipal governments, service providers and environmental groups.  The regulation offers an opportunity to fix the broken blue box system that cannot keep up with the record amounts of plastics, complex and rapidly evolving packaging and litter.  It also ensures the costs to manage these materials are borne by the party most able to influence change – producers.  

Some of the key points municipal governments have raised on this issue include:

  • This is not a new issue.  Every position and perspective, from all stakeholders has been clearly expressed over the last two years of focused and collective work. 
  • The government, has on multiple occasions, committed to transitioning the Blue Box program between 2023 – 2025, and municipal governments have planned and acted accordingly.
  • The Government has now missed two key deadlines for this expected regulation (i.e.., end of 2020 and mid February 2021). This likely already means the transition may be delayed by several months (i.e., not January 2023). Any further delay will have major repercussions for municipalities that have extended contracts at cost premiums to align with the Province’s timeline. These additional costs will need to be borne by property taxpayers.
  • We urge the government to pass a regulation as soon as possible that:
     - Sets best in class recycling targets, to drive economic and environmental outcomes
     - Expands designated materials included to address growing list of problematic packaging
     - Increases accessibility for all Ontarians
     - Ensures proper oversight and enforcement

We will continue to advocate for the finalization of the regulation and keep members apprised of any developments.  Please contact Dave Gordon at or 416 389 4160 if you have any questions or require further details. 

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