CIAC welcomes Ontario Government’s announcement transitioning blue box recycling to producers

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) applauds today’s announcement from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) about beginning the transition to full extended producer responsibility for Ontario’s blue-box recycling system.

“We applaud the Ontario Government to tackling the urgent issue of plastic waste head-on in a way that has been proven to be effective in other jurisdictions within Canada,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

“Unlike symbolic gestures that do little to solve the real issue – like bans – industry-led, designed and managed Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs have been shown to effectively and efficiently allow producers to grow end-markets for recycled materials and encourage producers to make recyclable products. It will also reduce costs to municipalities and taxpayers.”

With EPR, the entire life cycle of a product, from selection of materials and design, to its end-of-life management, is the responsibility of the producer. In British Columbia, all recycling is handled by the non-profit Recycle BC, whose costs are covered by businesses in the province that create packaging or products. B.C. has the highest rate of waste recovery in Canada (78 per cent), and one of the lowest rates of contamination (6.5 per cent). Currently, Canada only recycles around 10 per cent of plastics.

In 2018, CIAC and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association announced ambitious targets that underscore their members’ commitment to a future without plastic waste: 100 percent of plastics packaging being reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040 and 100 percent of plastics packaging being recyclable or recoverable by 2030.

“Our members are committed to developing a more sustainable approach for waste management through better designs, innovative recycling and working with governments at all levels,” said Mr. Masterson. “We look forward to working with the Ontario Government to support and facilitate well-designed, industry-led extended producer responsibility system.”