TORONTO – Today, leading food, beverage and consumer products manufacturers, retailers and restaurants officially launched Circular Materials, a new, national producer responsibility organization (PRO) offering compliance services to companies obligated under extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations in Canada.
The 15 companies that founded Circular Materials are Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd., Empire Company, Kraft-Heinz Canada, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, Lassonde Industries Inc., Loblaw Companies Limited, Maple Leaf Foods, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited, Metro Inc., The Minute Maid Company Canada Inc., Nestlé Canada, PepsiCo Canada, Procter & Gamble Inc., Restaurant Brands International (RBI), and The Clorox Company of Canada Inc.
Circular Materials is a not-for-profit, producer-governed PRO that was incorporated on July 6, 2021, following the release of Ontario’s Blue Box Regulation. In Ontario, this national organization will operate as Circular Materials Ontario and will provide a full suite of compliance services to producers.
Producers are companies that supply designated products and packaging (plastic, glass, metal or paper) to Ontario consumers. From July 1, 2023, to Jan. 1, 2026, the Blue Box Regulation requires the transition of the province’s more-than 250 local blue box programs to a new, province-wide collection system funded by producers and operated by PROs.
To prepare for this transition, PROs must create rules for operating the blue box collection system and submit these rules to the regulator next year. According to the regulation, PROs representing 66% of the supplied tonnage of blue box materials must agree to the rules before they can take effect.
Circular Materials Ontario will represent producers’ collective interests in establishing these rules, with the goal of ensuring that the blue box collection system operates with fair cost allocation, an open and competitive procurement process, and strong producer-led governance.
As producers participating in recycling programs across the country, Circular Materials’ founders have created an organization specifically tailored to support producers with meeting all the requirements of Ontario’s Blue Box Regulation. These services include:
- Strong representation for producers in the development of the Blue Box collection system and the rules for its operation.
- Effective and transparent producer governance with meaningful producer engagement.
- Secure data management for reporting supply and recycling performance to regulators.
- Commitment to achieving management targets for all material categories (rigid plastic, flexible plastic, metal, glass, paper and beverage containers).
- Cost efficiency through competitive procurement of collection and processing services.
- A system of fair cost allocation among participating producers.
- Support for producers in meeting their recycled content commitments.
- Clear and compelling consumer promotion and education.
“Coca-Cola is committed to creating a World Without Waste. This includes collecting and recycling the equivalent of 100% of the bottles and cans we sell by 2030. Through our new partnership with Circular Materials, we will effectively turn old packages into new ones, and keep plastic out of the environment." – Darlene Nicosia, President, Canada and Northeast US, North America Operating Unit, The Coca-Cola Company and Minute Maid Canada.
"In Canada and across the world, Costco is committed to doing its part to help and contribute to real, results-driven positive impact. Joining Circular Materials as a founding member is a unique opportunity for Costco to work in collaboration with other producers in creating a not-for-profit organization that will support industry with meeting its regulatory obligations and building a circular economy." - Pierre Riel, Senior Vice President and Country Manager, Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.
“Keurig Dr Pepper Canada is proud to be a founding member of Circular Materials, and to have the opportunity to work with other leading organizations and associations to the advancement of an improved, and more circular recycling system in Ontario. Building a circular economy will require dedicated commitment from all producers and stakeholders along the value chain, and we are confident that the founding members of Circular Materials can efficiently support this transition with a focus on innovation, cost efficiency and fair competition.” – Stéphane Glorieux, President of Keurig Dr Pepper Canada.
“We are pleased to be joining Circular Materials, a producer-led, not-for-profit producer responsibility organization (PRO), as the next step in the evolution of providing blue box recycling services in Ontario. In addition to helping improve recycling rates, joining this PRO supports our ambition to move toward a more circular economy, which is good for everyone” – Bruno Keller, President, Kraft Heinz Canada.
“Over a century ago, Lassonde's dream was to help local fruit growers with their surplus crops. Today our challenge is to rethink long held recycling rules and processes with the goal of better supporting Ontarians. With this in mind, Lassonde is proud to join leading food, beverage and consumer manufacturers, as well as retailers and restaurants in launching Circular Materials.” -- Jean Gattuso, President & CEO, Lassonde Industries Inc.
“As some of the largest users of consumer packaging, we understand the importance of making sure the recycling system in Ontario operates efficiently and cost effectively. Circular Materials is a great step forward as producers embrace the challenge of improving Ontario’s recycling system, together.” – Ian Gordon, SVP Plastics, Loblaw Companies Limited.
“Becoming a founding member of Circular Materials is an important step in Maple Leaf Foods’ journey to be the most sustainable protein company on earth. This not-for-profit Producer Responsibility Organization will be essential to Ontario’s recycling supply chain and will lead in building a circular economy for recyclable materials for all Ontarians.” – Michael McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods.
“Working towards a waste-free future is an urgent priority for us at Nestlé and it requires industry to work together, which is why we are proud to be a founding member of Circular Materials. This is a producer created organization that supports our ambition to collect and recycle all the packaging we produce and ensure that no waste ends up in nature.” – John Carmichael, President and CEO, Nestlé Canada Inc.
“Tim Hortons has made significant progress in our efforts to be a Canadian leader in sustainable business practices. Sustainable packaging and recycling are a major component in our Tim’s For Good framework and we are proud to be a founding member of Circular Materials on behalf of our 1,500 Tim Hortons franchisees across Canada.” – Duncan Fulton, Chief Corporate Officer for Restaurant Brands International (Tim Hortons, Popeyes and Burger King).