Comment invited on intentions to require producers to implement specified extended producer responsibility measures to manage waste
Consultation on the proposed regulations regarding extended producer responsibility with regard to the management of waste post the consumer stage of a product's life cycle have been published in Government Gazette 43481 (Notice No. 718) for soliciting public comments.
The purpose of the Notice published by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, is to provide a framework for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of producer responsibility schemes by producers, importers and brand owners in terms of the Waste Management Act.
The Notice also aims to ensure the effective and efficient management of identified waste streams and intends to encourage and enable the implementation of waste economy and circular economy initiatives.
The Minister has also called for comment on her intention to require the producers of the identified products to implement specified extended producer responsibility measures for their sectors. These were published in:
Government Gazette 43481 (Notice No. 718: Consultation on the proposed regulations regarding extended producer responsibility.
Government Gazette 43482 (Notice No. 719: Consultation on the proposed extended producer responsibility scheme for paper, packaging and some single use products.
Government Gazette 43480 (Notice No. 717): Consultation on the proposed extended producer responsibility scheme for the lighting sector.
Government Gazette 43483 (Notice No. 720): Consultation on the proposed extended producer responsibility scheme for the electrical and electronic equipment sector.
The invitation for comments follows the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries' announcement in December 2019 of its intention to explore the development of the extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework.
In terms of the proposed regulations, producers, including brand owners, will be required to set up the necessary procedures and processes, and invest resources to implement the extended producer responsibility measures with regards to the management of waste generated by their products. This extends to the waste that results from the end-of-use of products by consumers, such as light bulbs, solar panels, single-use plastics, plastic garden equipment, toys and plastic boards, computers, cell phones, TV screens, batteries, fridges, toasters, etc.
Producers of the listed items that generate waste will be required to develop and implement an extended producer responsibility scheme. The proposed EPR framework provides producers with a choice to make use of product responsible organisations to fulfil their EPR obligations.
In addition, it is proposed that producers can establish a new extended producer responsibility scheme within six months of commencing operations, or subscribe to an existing extended producer responsibility scheme within three months of starting operations.