On June 7, 2019, David Lindsay, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities, was assigned by then-Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Rod Phillips, to lead a report submitted no later than July 31, 2019 on how to tackle plastic waste and litter, improve recycling, increase products that can go into the Blue Box, and ensure producers are responsible for managing plastic and other packaging at end-of-life.

His assigned consisted of two roles:

  • impartial mediator that will foster discussion and help producers, municipalities, and other stakeholders move closer to or reach agreement on key issues;
  • advisory, where he will provide the minister with advice on how these issues may be best addressed to ensure Ontario’s recycling system is more consistent, reliable, and cost-effective for Ontarians.

Over the past six weeks, Mr. Lindsay hosted meetings with stakeholders to discuss transitioning the Blue Box Program to make producers responsible for managing the plastic and packaging brought to market, and finding common understanding and agreement on key issues.

He has now submitted his report to the Hon. Jeff Yurek, current Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks with recommendations, which will inform the ministry’s next steps for improving the Blue Box Program to reduce costs, increase diversion rates, and reduce plastic waste and litter.

Minister Yurek will provide an update later this summer on next steps, including consultations with stakeholders, the public, and Indigenous communities.

Further Reading




RCO continues to take an active role in waste and recycling policy, and is pleased the Government of Ontario is continuing to take steps to move Ontario into a place of environmental leadership. RCO supports producer responsibility as an effective policy instrument to manage waste streams.

For those that wish to discuss RCO policy positions further:

Jo-Anne St. Godard

Executive Director

Recycling Council of Ontario

416.657.2797, ext. 3

[email protected]