Minister calls for paper & packaging industry, electrical & electronic industry and lighting industry to prepare and submit waste management plans

Minister calls for paper & packaging industry, electrical & electronic industry and lighting industry to prepare and submit waste management plans
25 Jan 2018

The Minister of Environmental Affairs has published a notice requiring the paper and packaging industry, electrical and electronic industry and lighting industry to prepare and submit industry waste management plans for approval (GN 1353 in GG 41303 of 6 December 2017). The notice took effect from the date of publication.

Who is affected?

The notice primarily applies to ‘producers’ and ‘producer responsibility organisations’. Producers are defined in the notice as:

‘any person or category of persons or a brand-owner who is engaged in the commercial manufacture, conversion, refurbishment or import of new and/ or used –

  • paper and packaging material;
  • light equipment;
  • electrical and electronic equipment, or
  • goods wrapped in primary or secondary packaging material

which are intended for distribution in the Republic of South Africa.’

“Producer responsibility organisation” means: a non-profit company established by any person operating in any of the industrial sectors or waste streams covered in the notice, to support the implementation of their industry waste management plan.

The definition of ‘packaging’ has also been widened to specifically include primary and secondary packaging but now also excludes ‘plastic pellets and industrial bulk containers (IBC’s) with a capacity exceeding 1000 litres’. A comparison of the definitions as proposed in the previous draft of this Notice (GN 915 of 12 August 2016) is as follows:

2016 definition

“packaging” means any material, container or wrapping, used for or in connection with the containment, transport, handling, protection, promotion, marketing or sale of any product or substance, but excludes—

  • shipping containers used solely for the transportation of any consumer commodity in bulk to manufacturers, packers, or processors, or to wholesale or retail distributors thereof;
  • containers or wrapping contaminated with any hazardous material; or
  • packaging made of timber and textile;

Packaging may be primary, containing the actual product or secondary typically containing products already packaged in primary packaging

2017 definition

“packaging” means any material, container or wrapping, used for the containment, transport, handling, protection, promotion, marketing or sale of any product or substance, which may be primary packaging, containing the actual product or secondary packaging, typically containing products already packaged in primary packaging but excludes—

  • shipping containers used solely for the transportation of any consumer commodity in bulk to manufacturers, packers, or processors, or to wholesale or retail distributors thereof;
  • packaging made of timber and textile; or
  • plastic pallets and industrial bulk containers (IBC’s) with a capacity exceeding 1000 litres.

More information

All producers in operation on the date of publication of the notice must register with the Minister within 2 months after the date of publication (i.e. by 6 February 2018). Producers who intend to commence business after the date of publication of the notice, must register with the Minister within 30 days, prior to commencing business. Similarly, a producer responsibility organisation must register with the Minster within 2 months after it has been established. Registration must comply with the information requirements set out in the notice. The time frames for registration are significantly shorter than those proposed in previous draft Notice.

A producer must either prepare and submit an Industry Waste Management Plan to the Minister for approval within nine months of publication of this notice or formally subscribe to an Industry Waste Management Plan approved by the Minister (it is not clear what the deadline is for subscribing to an approved Industry Waste Management Plan). This time frame is also shorter than the 12 months previously proposed.

The notice also provides guidance on the following:

  • content of an industry waste management plan;
  • consultation processes;
  • consideration of industry waste management plans; and
  • review of industry waste management plans.
(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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