24 August 2015 by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Environmental Alert

First industries may be required to submit waste management plans

Several industries may be required to submit industry waste management plans in terms of proposed Regulations published under the Waste Act. These industries include Paper and Packaging, Electrical and Electronic Equipment and Lighting.

It is proposed that any party engaged in the commercial manufacture, conversion, refurbishment or import of new

and/or used paper and packaging materials; lighting equipment or electrical and electronic equipment which are intended for distribution in South Africa (a "Producer") must register with the Minister of Environmental Affairs within 60 days of the notice and furnish prescribed information.

A Producer would be required to belong to an industry waste management plan and within a year of registration either comply with an industry waste management plan approved by the Minister; or prepare and submit to the Minister an industry waste management plan for approval.

The contents of an industry waste management plan are prescribed in the Waste Act and included in the proposed Regulations. This includes how the industry will prioritise reduction, re-use and recycling and then recovery of waste and implement measures to give effect to best environmental management practice. Incentives and financial contribution that will be applied to encourage end users to practice good waste management, as well as measures to increase national awareness may also be required. Social responsibility issues and methods to include the formal sector in the plan would need to be addressed.

Public consultation processes with state organs and interested and affected parties may also be required.

Significant penalties for non-compliance with this requirement are proposed.

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