2022 Ontario Blue Box Regulation Amendments & the Removal of the Rule Creation Process

On April 14, 2022, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks made amendments to the Blue Box Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, which included removing the rule creation process and allocation table as the tools to create and maintain the Blue Box collection system.

To replace these tools, the amended regulation now requires PROs to submit a report that outlines how they will operate the Blue Box collection system on behalf of producers, ensuring that materials are collected from all eligible communities (i.e., communities outside of the Far North) across the province.

Below is a summary of the amendments to the Blue Box Regulation:

  • Each producer is responsible for providing Blue Box collection to every eligible source in Ontario.
  • Rule creators and the rule creation process, including the allocation table, have been removed. 
  • Newspaper producers whose newspaper supply accounts for at least 70% of their total Blue Box supply are exempt from collection, management, and promotion and education requirements. Newspapers, however, are still an obligated material under the regulation and will continue to be collected in the Blue Box system.

These amendments came into effect on release of the regulation on April 14, 2022. View the amended regulation.

To help registrants and other stakeholders better understand the amendments, RPRA will be hosting a virtual Q&A session with Mary Cummins, RPRA’s Registrar, on Wednesday, May 18, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET Register here.

The amendments do not change or impact what needs to be reported to RPRA or the materials collected in the Blue Box system, the communities that receive collection or collection requirements, as outlined in the original regulation released on June 3, 2021.

The amendments also do not impact the transition timelines as set by the government (i.e., communities begin transitioning July 1, 2023 through to December 31, 2025). This is leading to a very tight timeline for all those involved with just over a year to get plans in place.  Learn more about the transition.

As mentioned, PROs must submit a report to RPRA by July 1, 2022, providing the following information:

  • A description of how the PRO will comply with the collection requirements of the regulation, including any agreements between themselves and any other PRO
  • A detailed description of how the PRO will make collected Blue Box materials available for processing, how materials will be processed and the expected location of receiving facilities in Ontario
  • A description of how the PRO will comply with the promotion and education requirements of the regulation

The report can only be submitted by a PRO or multiple PROs through agreement. The PROs submitting the report must represent (via agreement) producers responsible for more than 66% of the aggregate weight of Blue Box material supplied to consumers in Ontario in 2020, excluding certified compostable products and packaging materials. Once the report is received, it will be posted to RPRA’s website.  For more information on PROs, click here.

Circular Materials Consultation: New Brunswick Stewardship Plan for Packaging and Paper

As previously advised, last fall the Government of New Brunswick amended the Designated Materials Regulation under the Clean Environment Act to establish an Extended Producer Responsibility program for packaging and paper products (PPP) in New Brunswick. The regulation, dated October 14, 2021, sets out the requirements for the program.

As the agency responsible for designated materials in New Brunswick, Recycle NB will oversee the packaging and paper products program. 

Click here for an overview of Recycle NB and the PPP program.

Producers/brand owners for the province’s new EPR program for Packaging and Paper Products (PPP) were to have registered by February 11, 2022.  Please note that there was no cost involved in this registration process – it was just a form that was needed to be filled out.  To register, please use either the online form or download the form here and email it.

Submission of a PPP products stewardship plan by a brand owner or an agent (similar to a PRO) must be submitted to Recycle NB within 12 months of the amendment of the Regulation (deadline of October 14, 2022). Implementation of the plan is to take place within 180 days of Recycle NB’s approval of the PPP products stewardship plan.

One of the PROs in Ontario, Circular Materials, has established a Circular Materials Atlantic organization to establish an EPR stewardship plan for New Brunswick Packaging and Paper Products (PPP).  Circular Materials Atlantic is now pleased to share their draft New Brunswick Stewardship Plan for Packaging and Paper, created on behalf of their producers.

To ensure the Stewardship Plan represents their producers’ interests, they invite you to take part in a three-month consultation process. More information on this consultation process can be found on their website.

Your participation and feedback will be essential as they finalize the Stewardship Plan for submission to Recycle New Brunswick in October 2022.

Register for their Consultation Webinar:
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Atlantic
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern
Register here

This consultation webinar is an opportunity to ask questions and review the elements of the Stewardship Plan that are relevant to producers, including:

  • Designated materials
  • Producer hierarchy
  • Establishing a fee-setting methodology
  • Phasing of program transition and future expansion
  • Achieving program performance


Please provide written feedback on the Stewardship Plan via email to info@circularmaterials.ca no later than Friday, July 29, 2022. All feedback will be carefully reviewed and considered as they finalize the Stewardship Plan for submission to Recycle New Brunswick by October 14, 2022.

Sign an Agent Agreement:

As the time between plan approval and plan implementation is only six months, Circular Materials Atlantic are preparing for implementation in parallel with plan development. Therefore, producers subscribing with them as their agent will report their 2021 supply to New Brunswick into their Producer Portal between September 1 – October 31, 2022.

To be represented by Circular Materials Atlantic, click here to sign an Agent Agreement. This agreement outlines producer reporting requirements to Circular Materials, as well as Circular Materials’ obligations to producers.