Amendment of the regulations and notices regarding extended producer responsibility, 2020
19 January 2021
The Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Barbara Creecy, has postponed the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Regulations to 5 May 2021.
This follows a request from affected producers to make further inputs into the implementation process. As a result, the Minister decided to amend the Regulations and Notices, to allow additional time for the registration, development and submission of EPR schemes. Producers will also be given an opportunity to make additional amendments, should these be necessary.
Given the extension for implementation, all existing producers, and producer responsibility organisations, must register with the Department before 5 November 2021.
The amended implementation date for the Regulations and associated Notices, was published in Government Gazette no. 44078 in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act.
The EPR Regulations had been published in Government Gazette 43879 (Notice No. 1184) on 5 November 2020 for implementation.
The Regulations give effect to Sections 18 and 69 of the Waste Act and apply to the electrical and electronic equipment, lighting and paper, packaging and some single use product sectors. They outline a new approach to waste management in South Africa, and will contribute significantly to the diversion of waste from landfill.
This will increase the recycling, reduction, reuse and recovery rate, thus achieving one of the aims of the National Waste Management Strategy published earlier last year. It is also an opportunity for government to work closely with industries that produce varying amounts of waste to enhance the country’s capacity to recycle, thus expanding the Circular Economy.
As a means through which the manufacturers and importers of products are required to bear a significant degree of responsibility for the impact their products have on the environment, Extended Producer Responsibility ensures that those products are either recycled or up-cycled, and that waste products diverted to landfill is kept at a minimum. This means that the producers of the products listed, must develop and submit their EPR schemes or establish a Producer Responsibility Organisation that will prepare and submit an Extended PRO Scheme.
Section 18 of the NEMWA requires that affected producers be specifically consulted with regards to the implementation of the Regulations as they are the developers and implementers of the schemes they have to register with the Department.
The amended regulations can be accessed at: National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No.59 of 2008): Amendment of the regulations and notices regarding extended producer responsibility [G 44078 - GoN 20]
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