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During the month of August, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, published a Notice (GNR 915), requiring the Paper, Packaging, Electrical, Electronic Equipment and Lighting Industry to prepare and submit their Industry Waste Management Plans (IndWMP) for approval by the Minister, within 3 months (i.e. 14 November 2016). This Notice was subsequently retracted and replaced by a draft notice on 12 September 2016 (GNR 1011).

It is understood that the reason for said withdrawal was to pursue further consultation with the relevant industries.

The Waste Information baseline study conducted in 2011 by the DEA, indicated that of the 108-million tons of waste generated per year, only 10% thereof was recycled in 2011, whilst 97 million tons is disposed in landfills.

This initiative (IndWMP) is said to significantly contribute towards diverting recyclable waste from landfill sites.

10%

Significant variances from the first draft notice published in July 2015 (GNR 739), regarding the initial timeframes proposed for registration and submission of IndWMPs, were noted in GNR 915. It is understood that the intention for shortening the timeframes was to fast track the effective implementation of the National Waste Management Strategy, that promotes waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste. However, GNR 1011, which replaced GNR 915, proposes much more lenient time frames.

It was also noted that some of the definitions that implicated a far larger group of industries than the initial scope was deleted. For instance, GNR 915 placed a specific duty/obligation on “producers”, which is defined as:

“any person or category of persons 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, or
  • importers of goods wrapped in primary or secondary packaging material*
  • and which are intended for distribution in the Republic of South Africa*.

to register with the Department and must subscribe to an IndWMP.

Prepare and submit to the Minister for approval, an industry waste management plan, within 12 months;

Ensure that the industry waste management plan submitted to the Minister for approval is representative of at least 70% of the category of person or industry registered with the Department.

Comply to the IndWMP once it is approved by the DEA.

All category of persons or industry contemplated in section 28(1) of the NEM:WA must belong to an approved IndWMP.

Other relevant content:

The content of the IndWMP is set out in regulation 4 of the Notice.

A Generic Guideline “Draft” Document for preparing IndWMP was published in March

2010 that may also be of assistance. A copy of the document is available on Digilex.

The IndWMP is subject to a consultation (public participation) process. Accordingly, category of persons or industry contemplated in section 28(1) of the NEM:WA who chooses to develop an IndWMP must, inter alia:

  • publish a notice in at least 2 newspapers indicating:

– details of person who will be drafting the IndWMP;

– details where copies of the IndWMP can be obtained;

– invite stakeholders to submit written representations or objections of the IndWMP within 30

days of advertisement and details where such representations must be sent.

  • Make the draft IndWMP available for comment.

* Meaning any person or organisation that import any goods that is wrapped in any material, container or wrapping, used for or about the containment, transport, handling, protection, promotion, marketing or sale of any product or substance.

INDUSTRY WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANS

GNR 1011 does not provide any definitions any merely refers to a category of persons or industry contemplated in section 28(1) of the NEM:WA. Therefore, it is assumed that the Minister may publish a separate notice listing said category of persons or industries.

Specific Obligations

Registration:

All category of persons or industry contemplated in section 28(1) of the NEM:WA operating at the date of commencement of the Notice must register with the DEA within 12 months of publication of the Notice.

Registrations forms are available on Digilex. Registration forms must be completed and returned to: dsehaswana@environment.gov.za or apillay@environment.gov.za

Preparation and Submission of IndWMP:

A category of persons or industry contemplated in section 28(1) of the NEM:WA must:

Last comment:

It is uncertain when GNR 1011 will be published and if any further changes will be made to the final regulation.

It is also uncertain if a separate notice will be published to define the category of persons or industry contemplated in section 28(1) of the NEM:WA.

But we will be sure to keep our readers posted.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

If any further information is required on the above, please contact our legal team at info@greengain.co.za for further assistance.