The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) has amended the Section 18 EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) legislation that was released by on 5 May 2021, requiring producers (brand owners/fillers, manufactures, re-manufacturers/reconditioners and importers) to join a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) for their specific packaging stream. The extended producer responsibility means that a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle. The product responsibility organisation means, a non-profit company established by producers operating in any of the industrial sectors covered in these Regulations to support the implementation of their extended producer responsibility scheme.

The purpose of the Regulations amongst others is to provide the framework for the development; implementation, monitoring and evaluation of extended producer responsibility schemes by producers of packaging in terms of section 18 of the Act and to ensure the effective and efficient management of the identified waste streams. The EPR scheme requires producers to ensure that their related waste is collected, cleaned and disposed in a responsible manner as deemed by the DFFE. It also requires that the producers, brand owners/fillers and importers fund the said scheme.

SAICRA has been in the forefront of anticipating the EPR regulations and has set up of the EPR scheme for industrial packaging i.e. IBC’s, steel and HDPE drums and containers. The EPR Scheme for these packaging is regulated as per section 18 EPR which is a requirement for producers (persons, category of persons or brand owner who is engaged in the commercial manufacture, conversion, refurbishment or import of new and/or used packaging which are intended for distribution in the Republic of South Africa). SAICRA has established an EPR scheme for industrial packaging which now results in SAICRA transitioning from a voluntary scheme to a DFFE mandated Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) scheme with DFFE registration number: 19/7/5/P/PRO/20210722/006.

SAICRA objectives are as follows:

  • Management and implementation of the extended producer responsibility scheme on behalf of its producers
  • Ensure hazardous industrial steel and HDPE packaging are safely collected and treated
  • Conducting surveillance audits for scheme performance and effectiveness
  • Compliance monitoring on collectors and waste treatment facilities
  • Verification of scheme data to determine accuracy of reporting instruments
  • Managing the data collection, collation and submission to the South African Waste Information System as required in terms of Regulation 8 of the Regulations.