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On 5 May 2021, the final EPR Regulations were published by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE). 

The regulations are effective as from 5 May 2021 and all producers have 6 months to register with the DFFE before the deadline of 4th November 2021.

It is mandatory for any Producer to become a member of an approved EPR Scheme or Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) by no later than, 5 November 2021 and pay the relevant EPR fee. A Producer may alternatively set up or create its own EPR scheme.

All producers of paper and paper packaging, as per the EPR regulations, are considered ‘obliged industries’ and are encouraged to join an existing PRO and develop a EPR scheme for their products. A list of the existing PROs who are all members of Packaging SA is provided below:

Existing Paper & Packaging PROs in SA

The Polyolefin Responsibility Organisation (POLYCO)

Tel:  021 276 2096

Materials: Polyolefin, HD, PP, LD, LLD, multilayer packaging and PET

The PET Recycling Company (PETCO)

Tel:  011 615 8875 / 021 794 6300
Materials: PET

Polystyrene Association of SA

Tel:  072 820 2506

Materials: Polystyrene packaging (expanded and high impact)

Vinyl Loop

Tel: 087 087 0418

Materials: Vinyl products

The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC)
Tel:  011 463 5644

Materials: Glass containers (Bottles and jars)

Metal Packaging Association of SA (METPAC-SA)
Tel:  082 880 9580

Materials: steel, tinplate and aluminium packaging

Fibre Circle

Tel: 011 803 5063

Materials: paper (newspaper, magazines, corrugated cases, kraft paper, paper labels)

By working together to establish infrastructure and alternative systems, the objectives of the EPR legislation and the PRO’s aims can be achieved.

As set out in the regulations there are many obligations that must be met by an EPR scheme/PRO on behalf of its Producer members, including but not limited to, determining an EPR fee for paper and packaging materials placed on the South African market, to meet all the scheme objectives, annual minimum recycling targets, life cycle assessments, waste picker obligations and a transformation charter amongst other requirements.

The announcement of Section 18 of the National Environmental Management Waste Act (NEMWA) has created a certain level of uncertainty for both PROs and Producers.

In light of this, we will provide as much guidance and clarity as we can to support you with the process. Should you be uncertain with any aspects of the EPR regulation please raise it with us soonest.

Our role as an industry advocate includes lobbying with government on issues which impact on the sector and it actively supports policies relating to the protection and improvement of the environment. We also promote the benefits of packaging and serve to keep members updated with developments in the South African market. 

We encourage new members to join PSA so that you are included in the consultation process and development of EPR Schemes.

Below are the government regulations relating to EPR for your perusal and consideration.

  • Gazettes 43879 and 43882 (original gazettes published for EPR 5 November 2020)
  • Gazette 44295 (amendments to original legislation published 19 March 2021 after industry engagement with DFFE)
  • Gazette 44539 (final amendments to original legislation after public consultation)

Please note that GG 44295 and GG 44539 must to be read in conjunction with GG 43879 and 43882.