As you may be aware, paper and packaging has been declared a priority waste by government. On the 6 September 2018, Packaging SA submitted the Paper and Packaging Industry Waste Management Plan as instructed by the then Minister of Environmental Affairs as per Section 28 of the National Environmental Waste Act. See Gazette https://www.packagingsa.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/GG41303_nn1353-Call-for-IWMPs-6-Dec-2017.pdf

Packaging SA’s submission comprised a Federation of Plans submitted on behalf of participating PRO’s namely MetPac-SA, PAMDEV (a special purpose organisation created as a PRO for Paper as neither PAMSA or PRASA fitted the definition), PETCO, POLYCO, Polystyrene Association of South Africa, SAVA and the Glass Recycling Organisation, with the support of most retailers and brand-owners. Separate plans were submitted by PETCO, PAMDEV and Pailpac.

The basis of the submission of the Packaging SA plan is an industry led, industry funded model. The plan indicates, amongst others, how the paper and packaging industry will deal with extended producer responsibility, decreasing packaging in the environment, setting of recycling targets, creation of employment, transformation, education and awareness raising, rolling out separation at source initiatives and clean-up campaigns etc. Whilst this may seem in contravention to the requirement of the Gazette, it is believed that it is the most appropriate model to follow and will serve to meet the objectives and intentions of the NEMWA requirements.

Going forward, the DEA will evaluate the various IndWMP’s and will hopefully engage with the various PRO’s in the process.  Some public consultation needs to take place and eventually Government will announce the preferred/selected IndWMP before the next financial year, i.e. April 2019.  Government is under no obligation to select any of the IndWMPs.

Until then it is business as usual for the plastics recyclers:  obtain recyclables, recycle it in the most optimum manner and sell the recyclate at the best possible prices.  SAPRO will keep you up to date with the process as things develop.