Packaging changes in Ontario households (2003-2014)

The following is PPEC’s summary of how the generation of printed paper and packaging has changed in Ontario households between 2003 and 2014, based on weight.

  • The weight of what are called dry recyclables or Blue Box materials in Ontario households (before recycling) dropped almost 8% between 2003 and 2014 data years. The major reason for this was a 21% drop in newspaper generation and a 46% fall in glass generation. More, lighter weight plastics is probably a factor as well.
  • The all-paper category (printed paper and paper packaging combined) still represented two-thirds of household generation by weight in 2014. But the printed paper contribution is now 20% lower with newspapers dropping 21%, magazines and catalogs (25%) and telephone directories (47%). This has been balanced by a 16% increase in paper packaging generated (plus 27% for boxboard and plus 9% for corrugated).
  • Plastics packaging generation (by weight) increased 31% over the period, with a 201% increase in the catch-all category of Other Plastics and a 53% increase for PET bottles.

The raw data has been analysed from Stewardship Ontario reports for the individual years 2003 and 2014. Selected audits were undertaken on what households generated (as garbage) and what they put out for recycling with the numbers added together to get a generation total. So this is what was in the Ontario residential marketplace and available to be recycled before any recycling took place in 2003 and 2014.


PackagingChanges2014 492x1024
PackagingChanges2014 492×1024





















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John Mullinder

Executive Director Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC)
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