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Plastic Colloquium Under the Spotlight

September 23, 2020

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

Recommendations flowing from the Plastic Colloquium held in November 2019 are being implemented.

Speaking at the 2020 International Coastal Clean-Up event and the launch of Inkwazi Isu Project, the environment, forestry and fisheries minister, Barbara Creecy, pointed out that the Colloquium emphasised the “need for us and the rest of the world to work together in finding appropriate solutions on plastics problems”.

The minister confirmed that plans will be shared in due course.

A call was made to the plastics, metals and glass industries to continue with their efforts to increase their recycling rates.

The minister also indicated that, in terms of the National Environment Management: Waste Act, the “industries on paper, packaging, electrical, electronic and lighting will soon be implementing Extended Producer Responsibility schemes to demonstrate how they will decrease packaging waste in the environment, amongst other aspects”.

Amendments to existing policy instruments governing the production and sale of plastic carrier bags are also being finalised with new requirements to prescribe minimum recyclate content in the manufacturing of plastic carrier bags.

The minister indicated that the environment, forestry and fisheries department was assessing the extent of single use plastic waste with a view to propose additional policy interventions to improve the management of plastic waste.

Meanwhile, in another statement, the department announced that seven Integrated Wildlife Zones are being introduced across South Africa to protect the country’s rhino.

“The introduction of the Integrated Wildlife Zones, similar to the Integrated Protection Zones previously utilized within national parks and provincial reserves, sees an expansion of the effort to protect the world’s largest black and white rhino populations.”

Appropriate technologies will be used to ensure surveillance, early warning and detection.