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Ontario to make product producers responsible for Blue Box program

Last Updated Aug 15, 2019 at 3:14 pm EDT

Plastic bottles in a recycling bin. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mario Beauregard

Ontario plans to make product manufacturers responsible for the province’s Blue Box recycling program by 2025.

“I have issued [a] direction to Stewardship Ontario and resource products and recovery authority outlining the next steps and timelines for renewing the blue box program to full producer responsibility starting in 2023,” Environment Minister Jeff Yurek said at a news conference Thursday.

The program currently is run by municipalities and he said the move will encourage industry to change how it packages products to cut down on waste that is sent to landfills.

The new program would also streamline 240 existing municipal Blue Box programs in the province that have their own lists of accepted materials.

A government discussion paper released earlier this year said shifting the Blue Box recycling program to full producer responsibility is estimated to save municipalities more than $125 million annually.

Yurek says consultations will begin this fall on a new framework for the Blue Box program, including details on how producer responsibility would work.