The Section 18 Regulations to the National Environmental Management: Waste Act on 5 November 2020 came into effect on 5 May 2021, with reporting against the gazetted targets having started in January 2022.
The new legislation makes Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mandatory for all producers and importers of packaging. It changes how producers, brand owners, retailers and importers design, make, sell and keep their products in a sustainable value chain.
This means that all producers are in need of viable solutions to ensure EPR compliance and that stringent targets are met. Well managed waste streams help to reduce the impact on the environment and divert waste from ending up in landfills.
Partnering with a waste management specialist organisation means that these producers and brand owners are better placed to streamline waste streams and to realise their environmental responsibility.
In EPR systems, producers are responsible not only for health and safety issues associated with their products, but also for the management of their packaging waste, including collection, sorting and recycling.
The international principle of EPR is a waste management strategy for the sustainable organisation and financing of specific waste streams. Effective implementation of EPR sees that all discarded packaging ultimately enters the recycling stream, such as cardboard boxes or PET plastic bottles.
In short, EPR systems tie producers into financing and organising management systems for packaging waste, an approach that has implications for all other stakeholders in the value chain.
The recycling of packaging does not begin with its collection, but rather with its design. By ensuring the circular transition for all forms of packaging, the design for recycling is among the key aspects. Compatibility of materials, easy separation and refraining from using additives, among other features, play a role in determining the recyclability of a given product.
Packaging should be designed to satisfy technical, consumer and customer needs in a way that minimises environmental impact. This means, that amongst other things, packaging should be designed to use the minimum number of resources for purpose and once it has completed its job, the scope for recovery maximised.
Collection of packaging waste
Collection of your recyclable waste means the gathering of an identified product at the end of its life, at the place of its generation or storage by a waste picker, collector or reclaimer or service provider. However, the place of generation would be pre-consumer waste. What do you do about the waste that ends up in people’s houses and businesses; and in essence is classified as post-consumer waste?
Coupled with this is the management of waste reclaimers, which relates to the agreed fee payable to the waste collectors, reclaimers or pickers through the extended producer responsibility scheme.
Ensuring proper collection and management of packaging waste is critical for building a reuse and recycling system that enables a circular economy.
Waste management partners
Mpact Waste Management is part of the Mpact Group, one of the leading paper and plastics packaging manufacturing businesses in southern Africa. Mpact Waste Management provides ethical on-site waste management solutions to all sectors of retail, commerce and industry. It services each of its sites according to their specific needs, resulting in effective waste management and a reduced waste footprint.
It is part of Mpact Waste Management’s mission to develop practical, economically viable and environmentally sustainable solutions that bring our country closer to a true circular economy.
Mpact Waste Management provide free audits to determine specific requirements for each of its customers. Contact us for a free waste audit.