Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks and the Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing made a joint announcement outlining the process to transition the costs of the Blue Box Program away from municipal taxpayers to the producers that bring products and packaging to market.
The first measure issues direction to Stewardship Ontario to describe a mechanism for determining steward fees necessary to provide for payments to municipalities and First Nations until the time they transfer responsibility for providing Blue Box services to producers.
In addition, the plan will establish criteria for a three-year period in which communities will no longer be eligible to receive funding through Stewardship Ontario starting Jan. 1, 2023 and ending Dec. 31, 2025, when Stewardship Ontario will cease operations.
The minister also issued direction to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority, as part of its duties to oversee Stewardship Ontario and the Blue Box Program, to determine the amount of money required by Stewardship Ontario to carry out its responsibilities and monitor the effectiveness while plans and transition are carried out.
It is anticipated that over 2020, Ontario will develop and consult on regulations to support a full producer responsibility framework for the Blue Box Program with an intention for more consistency and a standardized list of materials for recycling in the Blue Box.