Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy has started a consultation process with regard to the requirement of the pesticides, batteries and lubricant oils sectors to implement extended producer responsibility (EPR) measures.
“All producers of the identified products must set up procedures, processes and resources to implement the measures at the post-consumer stage. These are linked to the collection, storage and transportation of products, recycling, recovery and treatment. The EPR and targets for each of the products or class of products listed will be reviewed every five years,” she says.
The March 30 notice in the Government Gazette included an EPR scheme for the lubricant oil sector, which includes technical and medicinal white oils, vegetable oils, greases, waxes, chainsaw cutter bar lubricants, pesticidal and fungicidal agricultural spray base oils, marine engine oils and petroleum jelly.
Similarly, the EPR scheme for the producers of pesticides, pesticide co-formula and related containers was opened for consultation. This applies to products that result in waste arising from their use by consumers and end-users of pesticides, pesticide co-formulant and its related containers.
Also, the EPR scheme for the portable battery sector was opened to consultation, and includes alkaline/zinc carbon batteries, primary or single-use lithium batteries, nickel-metal-hybrid batteries, silver oxide batteries and zinc air batteries or air depolarised batteries.
“EPR regulations give effect to Section 18 of the Waste Act and are required in terms of the new approach to waste management in South Africa. This will make a significant contribution in the diversion of waste from landfill, and increase the recycling rate to achieve the objectives of the National Waste Management Strategy,” Creecy says.
EPR is 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, from manufacture to the day they are discarded, she adds.
“This ensures that products that can be recycled or up-cycled are, and that waste products diverted to landfill are kept at a minimum, fulfilling the Waste Management Strategy 2020 goal of creating a circular economy,” Creecy says.
Members of the public are invited to submit written representations or objections to the proposed amendments by April 30 by post, at the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s offices in Arcadia or by email.