A group of 15 food, beverage and consumer products manufacturers, retailers and restaurants have launched a national producer responsibility organization (PRO).
Circular Materials will offer 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 compliance services to producers.
Ontario’s blue box transition
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 percent 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.
Services for producers
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:
- Representation for producers in the development of the blue box collection system and the rules for its operation.
- Effective and transparent producer governance with producer engagement.
- Secure data management for reporting supply and recycling performance to the regulator.
- 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.
- Consumer promotion and education.