Submission Date : 2020-01-24
Johannesburg,17 January 2020. The plastics and packaging industries of South Africa, represented by Packaging SA and Plastics SA, have both welcomed the announcement made by Ms Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environment¬¬, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) to scrap the existing Section 28 plan for developing an Industry Waste Management Plan (IndWMP) for the paper and packaging industry.
Although the development of this plan has already been more than three years in the making, Minister Creecy announced in December that she would be starting an entirely new process under Section 18, as this would allow for an industry-managed plan as opposed to a government-managed plan.
Admitting that the Minister’s announcement came as a surprise, Shabeer Jhetam, Executive Director of Packaging SA, said that they welcomed the Minister’s insight and decision.
"Despite the fact that a considerable amount of time, money and effort have been invested to prepare and submit our Federation of Plans which represented the entire packaging industry, we believe the Minister has made the right decision. Through our engagements with her over the past few months, we were able to introduce her to the excellent work done by the various packaging streams through their various Producer Responsibility Organisations, i.e.:
Discussing the Minister’s feedback and charting the way forward during a recent briefing meeting attended by industry role-players who submitted Industry Waste Management Plans, DEFF Director General Nosipho Ngcabaprovided clarity on why none of the submitted plans were approved. She also reported that according to Treasury, there are no funds available for a Government plan.
“A total of 13 industry plans were submitted to the Minister for consideration of which the Paper and Packaging industry submitted 7, the Electrical & Electronic industry submitted 5 and the Lighting industry 1.The Minister has sent letters to each of the parties who submitted plans, spelling out the reasons why she rejected the specific plan. However, throughout the entire process it has become abundantly clear that none of the plans meet the criteria of a Government Managed Model, and that a Section 28 plan is therefore no longer the best route to take. In order to expedite the process, she would like to return to the drawing board as soon as possible to develop a workable plan. Receiving the support and buy-in of the industry is vital if this plan is to succeed,” Ngcabawas reported as saying.
She explained that a framework needed to be developed that would include clear targets for each sector, with quarterly and annual reporting, the minimisation of waste and encouragement of recycling.The first of these engagements will take place early in February 2020 and will require input in terms of a possible structure and future cooperation between industry and Government. “We cannot afford to gamble with the future of our environment or our industry, but need a plan that will allow us to use collection and recycling mechanisms that have already been put into place and have proven to be successful. I am confident that this new approach will best serve the interests of the country, the environment and the industry. I look forward to providing our members with regularupdates on opportunities for job creation by incorporating the informal sector, enabling access to better quality and quantities of recyclable waste by introducing household separation-at-source nationally, and contributing to economic growth through unlocking new opportunities,” Anton concludes.
For more information and updates on the process, visit www.plasticsinfo.co.za.