On July 1, Circular Materials kick-starts Ontario’s transition to extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging – the first step towards enhanced recycling across the province. EPR is a framework in which producers – the businesses that supply paper and packaging to residents – are responsible for funding and managing the end-of-life management of these materials.
As the administrator of Ontario’s common collection system, Circular Materials will be responsible for operating the new system for blue box materials. This includes enabling innovation, operational efficiencies, increased standard levels and access to materials. EPR is recognized as an effective mechanism to improve recycling rates and advance a circular economy where materials are collected, recycled, and returned to producers for use as recycled content in new products and packaging.
During the transition period, there will be no change to how or what residents can recycle. Post transition and into 2026, Ontarians can expect to have a convenient, consistent, and effective recycling system that will improve recycling rates. A change that will not only benefit people but also our planet.
“We are committed to a seamless transition to extended producer responsibility, while also looking for opportunities to improve recycling by advancing innovation, increasing performance and delivering improved environmental outcomes,” states Allen Langdon, Chief Executive Officer of Circular Materials. “We will continue listening and engaging with communities across Ontario to deliver a recycling program that reflects the needs of residents and the community.”
In June 2021, the Province of Ontario released the Blue Box Regulation which shifts the financial and operational responsibility of recycling to the producers of packaging, paper and packaging–like products. As a result, responsibility for Ontario’s residential Blue Box programs will be 100% producer funded and transition to producers between July 2023 and the end of December 2025 with full EPR implementation across Ontario starting January 1, 2026.