The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks have taken steps to foster the continued growth towards a circular economy. As such, they have created three acts that producers, manufactures and distributors must comply with when selling products in Ontario
Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA)
This Act has begun replacing existing provincial waste diversion programs and industry funding organizations with an Individual Producer Responsibility system. The first program to be replaced was the Used Tires Program. New regulations for batteries and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) are currently in the works. Under this new framework, producers will be legally responsible for end-of-life management of the products and packaging they sell in the province of Ontario.
Waste Diversion Transition Act (WDTA)
Ontario’s existing waste diversion programs and industry-funded organizations are winding down through the guidelines outlined in WDTA. The first program to be wound down was the Used Tires Program.
This Act outlines the legislative framework for the winding down of waste diversion programs and industry-funded organizations, which will now be governed under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA).
Ontario Batteries Regulation
This Regulation outlines a battery producer’s legal obligation to collect and responsibly manage their products at the end-of-life and report their recovery performance to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority.
Ontario Tires Regulation
The regulation outlines the legal obligation of tire producers to collect and responsibly manage their products at end-of-life and report their recovery performance to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority.
Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA)
RPRA is a regulatory body that plays a key role in supporting the transition towards a circular economy and a waste-free Ontario. RPRA will enforce individual producer responsibility (IPR) requirements for managing waste associated with products and packaging by carrying out monitoring, compliance and enforcement activities.
Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) Regulation
The Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 designates information technology, telecommunications, audio-visual (ITT/AV) and lighting equipment as materials that fall under Ontario’s individual producer responsibility regulatory framework.
As of January 1, 2021, producers are individually accountable and financially responsible for collecting and reusing, refurbishing or recycling their products when consumers discard them.
The Government of Ontario has finalized the Blue Box Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016, requiring producers to operate and pay for the collection and reuse, refurbishment and recycling of blue box materials.
As of July 1, 2023, when municipalities and First Nation communities start transitioning their blue box programs to the new framework, blue box producers will become fully accountable and financially responsible for collecting and recycling their blue box materials when consumers discard them.
Hazardous and Special Products (HSP)
The Hazardous and Special Products (HSP) Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) designates automotive materials (oil filters, oil containers and antifreeze), solvents, paints and coatings, pesticides, fertilizers, mercury-containing devices (barometers, thermometers and thermostats) and pressurized containers (non-refillable pressurized containers, refillable pressurized containers, refillable propane containers), under Ontario’s individual producer responsibility (IPR) regulatory framework.
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