The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA), the regulator mandated by the Government of Ontario to enforce the province’s circular economy laws, is conducting a webinar on Wednesday, August 18, from 10:00 to 11.30 a.m. to provide information on the province’s new Blue Box Program regulations and obligations for producers. 

Here is the link to sign up for it: Understanding Ontario’s Blue Box Regulation.

This is the first event in RPRA’s Understanding of Ontario’s New Blue Box Regulation learning series. During this webinar, they will walk through the regulatory requirements for producers of Blue Box materials to help producers understand and meet their obligations under the new regulation. Topics will include:

  • Obligated Blue Box materials
  • Who is a Blue Box producer?
  • Registration and reporting requirements
  • Working with producer responsibility organizations (or PROs)

If someone from your company cannot attend, copies of the presentation and a recording will be made available on the RPRA website afterwards plus additional webinars and learning resources will be provided in the coming months to further support Blue Box stakeholders in understanding and complying with their regulatory obligations.

Sign up for the Authority’s newsletter to receive regular updates and be notified of upcoming learning series events.

As mentioned in the last CHPTA E-News Brief, producers will need to register and report their 2020 supply data (via Excel file) with the RPRA by October 1, 2021. 

*However, to correct what was mentioned in that article, producers will not be required to have selected and entered into an agreement with a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) by October 1st, however, producers should definitely look at doing so prior to November 1st so they can be represented in the rule creation process – see below.

Upcoming dates in the Blue Box Regulation:

  • Rule creators may begin registering with the Authority on August 1, 2021 and must be registered before November 1, 2021.
  • Municipalities must submit an Initial Report with information about their current blue box collection system on or before September 30, 2021. Municipalities transitioning in 2023 will also be required to submit a Transition Report by this date.
  • Producers must register with the Authority on or before October 1, 2021.
  • First Nation communities must submit an Initial Report with information about their current blue box collection system on or before November 30, 2021. First Nation communities transitioning in 2023 will also be required to submit a Transition Report by this date.
  • Processors must register with the Authority by April 1, 2022.
  • Producers must establish and operate systems to collect and manage blue box materials discarded by consumers starting July 1, 2023.
  • Starting in 2024, producers, or producer responsibility organizations (PROs) on their behalf, to report annually to the Authority on their performance meeting their management requirements.

Who is a producer?

A company is considered a producer under the Blue Box Regulation if they supply blue box material (packaging, paper producers or packaging-like products) comprised of paper, glass, metal or plastic, or a combination of these materials to consumers in Ontario. *Note producers do not have to be located in Ontario but be the brand owner resident located in Canada.

What is a PRO?

A producer responsibility organization, or PRO, is a business established to contract with producers to provide collection, management and administrative services to help producers meet their regulatory obligations under the Blue Box Regulation, including:

  • Representing a producer for the purposes of the creation of the rules
  • Arranging, establishing or operating a collection or management system
  • Arranging, establishing or operating promotion and education system
  • Preparing and submitting reports

PROs will operate in a competitive market and producers can choose the PRO (or PROs) they want to work with. The terms and conditions of each contract with a PRO may vary.  PROS registered with RPRA will be listed on their website here: https://rpra.ca/programs/blue-box/regulation/pros/ 

What is a rule creator?

Rule creators are responsible for developing a set of rules that will govern how producers are assigned collection services in the allocation table, and how the allocation table is created, maintained and updated. The allocation table will outline the blue box collection system, ensuring that materials are collected from all eligible communities (i.e., communities outside of the Far North) across the province.

Rule creators are PROs that have entered into a representation agreement with one or more producers for the rule creation process. PROs must register as a rule creator with the Authority on or after August 1, 2021 and before November 1, 2021. Producers that are represented by a PRO are also required to register their representation agreement for the purposes of rule creation. More information will be made available on registration in the near future.

The CHPTA will continue to keep members updated on information on the new Ontario Blue Box Program and requirements that producers need to take.