Toronto, July 22nd, 2019 - Today, Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation
and Parks, issued the following statement regarding Special Advisor David Lindsay's
report on how Ontario can better manage recycling and plastic waste.
"I'd like to thank Mr. Lindsay for delivering his report on schedule and for volunteering
his time and expertise. It's clear that Ontario's current Blue Box Program is unsustainable.
Recycling rates have been stalled for 15 years and up to 30 per cent of what is
put into blue boxes is sent to landfill. Over 240 municipalities have their own
separate lists of accepted recyclable materials, which affects cost savings and
contamination, and program costs are expected to increase by approximately $10 million
per year after 2019. There is also the serious problem of plastic pollution and
litter increasingly plaguing our parks, roads and waterways. In June, Mr. Lindsay
was appointed as Special Advisor on Recycling and Plastic Waste to address these
concerns and the growing issue of plastic waste and litter.
Over the past six weeks, David Lindsay hosted multiple meetings with stakeholders
from municipal and industry sectors to discuss how best to transition the Blue Box
Program to make producers responsible for managing the plastic and other packaging
they produce. Discussions helped move participants to a common understanding and
agreement on key issues.
Following these very informative conversations, Mr. Lindsay submitted his report
to me with recommendations on how to effectively transition the program to producer
responsibility while improving recycling and increasing products that can go into
the blue box. This report will inform the ministry's next steps for improving the
Blue Box Program to reduce costs, increase diversion rates and reduce plastic waste
I look forward to providing an update later this summer on our next steps, including
how we will consult with stakeholders, the public and Indigenous communities. I'm
confident we can enhance Ontario's Blue Box legacy and provide greater opportunities
for the people of this province to do their part to keep our environment healthy,
clean and beautiful for future generations."