Printing SA has announced the latest industry developments, including notifications on Extended Producer Responsibility and the Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling on the validity of the PPPFA Regulations of 2015.
What does Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mean?
EPR is a policy approach under which producers are given significant responsibility, financially and/or physically, for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. This is to ensure the effective and efficient management of the waste streams within the paper and packaging sector and other identified sectors.
Who is the producer — the brand owner or retailer?
According to Section 18 (1) of the Act: ‘producer’ means any person or category of persons or a brand owner who is engaged in the commercial manufacture, conversion, refurbishment or import of new and/or used products.
In line with global best practice, the producer is the organisation that has the greatest control in selecting materials and design. The entity that chooses to make or sell an item in a given format is the producer. This entity, therefore, has the power to change or improve the product and or packaging.
What does that mean for your business?
This is an environmental awareness regulation that puts pressure on many manufacturers and consumers, forcing them to produce and disperse products in an environmentally responsible manner. Now it is becoming more stringent for brand owners, manufacturers, importers, converters, distributors and retailers (producers) to take back and recycle their products at the end of their useful lives.
Furthermore, companies are also urged to use recycled materials whenever possible
Background: the notice on EPR regulations follows the withdrawal of the section 28 notice that was published in December 2017 calling on the Paper and Packaging Sector to submit Industry Waste Management Plans. A new consultative process towards a Section 18 Extended Producer Responsibility Notice has commenced. The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) indicated that they intend to implement these regulations soon.
Parliament met on 13 October 2020, where the Minister of DEFF briefed the committee on single-use plastics and Extended Producer Responsibility regulations recently published. The response from the committee was that the Minister needs to act with urgency to deal with the waste issues, especially plastic waste. The industry should expect the final publication of these regulations within the coming weeks. Once the final regulation has been published, a producer will be required to register within six months as set out in the regulations.
What is my responsibility as a producer?
The producers will need to identify their role in the product life cycle to ensure compliance.
– Register with DEFF as a producer.
– Join or form Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) for all Controlled Products (view the regulations for list of products below).
– Measure and declare consumption to PRO’s.
– Finance the PRO/PRO’s either directly or indirectly.
The identification of a product or class of products whereby extended producer responsibility applies
The draft EPR notice provides a list of products applicable within the sectors that cover waste arising from the use by a consumer or an end user of the following materials:
– Paper and paper packaging material.
– Plastic packaging, biodegradable and compostable plastic packaging, single use plastic products, single use compostable plastic products and single use biodegradable plastic products.
– Glass packaging and metal packaging containers.
What is the Producer Responsibility Organisation and their role?
The PRO legally takes on the EPR of the producers that are its members for the Controlled Products for which it operates an EPR scheme. The primary responsibilities of a PRO are:
– Support the recycling value chain to increase capacity, collection and recycling.
– Develop end-use markets for recycled material to stimulate demand.
– Develop guidelines and drive better product design within membership.
– Educate consumers to encourage separation at source and recycling.
– To accurately measure and report on the market, collection and recycling.
– To use industry funds responsibly and effectively on behalf of their members.
Which Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) should I belong to/register under?
This will depend on the type of paper, packaging, substrate or material that you, as a producer are dealing with. You will be required to register under each PRO if you produce more than one of these materials. It will be important to know what your contribution and the role will be. Check the list of Producer Responsibility Organisations below:
1. Fibre Circle (paper and paper packaging material) https://fibrecircle.co.za
Liquid board packaging both filled and unfilled; paper packaging; paper packaging boards – unprinted; paper packaging boards – printed; paper – corrugated case materials; paper, including but not limited to: cardboard, laminated, printing and writing paper, labels and paper sack.
2. PETCO (Plastic packaging) https://petco.co.za/
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) including blow mould PET bottles, jars and containers, thermoformed PET containers and PET sheeting/films, and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) including single used products.
3. The Glass Recycling Company (Glass packaging) https://theglassrecyclingcompany.co.za/
Glass bottles and jars.
4. Polyco – (Polyolefin material) www.polyco.co.za
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP). Type 2, 4, 5 Polyolefin – rigid; Type 2, 4, 5 Polyolefin – flexible.
5. Polystyrene Association of South Africa – www.polystyrenesa.co.za
Polystyrene (including exported polystyrene protective packaging and high impact polystyrene packaging).
6. MetPac-SA (Metals) – www.metpacsa.org.za
Metal packaging made from aluminium or steel.
7. South African Vinyls Association – www.savinyls.co.za
Vinyls (rigid and flexible).
What if I do not register?
Failure to comply with various provisions under the draft EPR regulations will be an offence, which may lead to a fine or imprisonment for a period of 15 years.
Very important: what does this mean practically?
– Start by understanding your ‘Controlled Product’ portfolio.
– Register as a producer as set out in the regulations within six months once the final notice has been published.
– Review existing PRO’s and understand which could represent each product.
– Develop systems to measure your ‘packaging footprint’.
– Consider the impact of EPR fees in your 2021 budget process.
– Look at quick wins to reduce unnecessary consumption.
– Make changes that could reduce your EPR fees or improve recyclability.
– Join chosen PRO’s and ensure that they are acting on your behalf.
– Declare your consumption of relevant products to relevant PRO’s.
– Pay your EPR fees to PRO’s either directly or indirectly as agreed.
For more information, please contact Khanyi Ntanzi at email@example.com or visit www.printingsa.org for the latest on all legislation they are currently monitoring and responding to on behalf of the industry.
The Supreme Court ruling and its effect on BEE
The Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling on the validity of the PPPFA Regulations of 2015 has no effect on the B-BBEE Act and its requirements. The B-BBEE Commission has noted the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal that declared the PPPFA Regulations of 2017 invalid and confirms that the ruling has no effect on the B-BBEE Act, as amended, and its requirements. The B-BBEE Act permits organs of state or public entities to set B-BBEE qualification criteria for procurement and other economic activities and to exceed the criteria set in the Codes of Good Practice through section 9 (6) of the B-BBEE Act.
The declaration of the PPPFA Regulations of 2017 as invalid is not a blow to the B-BBEE requirements for tenders as reported. The invalidity of the PPPFA Regulations of 2017 does not invalidate the B-BBEE Act, and the PPPFA Regulations were not issued under the B-BBEE Act. The framework for the B-BBEE Act and how it is applied is clear and thus not affected by the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal. Click here to read the full statement.