Producers Must Recycle E-Waste, Government

landfill site

The big deadline has passed for manufacturers, importers and distributors in South Africa that deal in electric and electronic kit, lighting products, batteries and packaging. From 5 November 2021, these companies will remain responsible for their products for the entire lifespan of those products. 

The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation obligates producers, by which it means manufacturers, importers and distributors, to continue to track their products and ensure responsible recycling and disposal of them at the end of their useful life. Furthermore, all their efforts in this regard must be registered with the DFFE as a EPR Scheme and fulfil all the requirements of such a scheme. 

Producers effectively have four options:

  • Create their own EPR Scheme.
  • Join an existing EPR Scheme.
  • Contract a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) create and manage an EPR Scheme for them. 
  • Set up their own PRO to service the needs of their ecosystem of companies.

While this may sound quite draconian, there is a local and reasonable reason for it. Waste products in the categories mentioned have been contaminating our landfills and environment for decades. The DFFE wants to put an end to this and to encourage the creation of a circular recycling economy in South Africa.

While many large producers can probably afford to establish and implement their own EPR Schemes, many smaller producers in the country will find it difficult. Desco can assist companies in fulfilling their obligations under the law. Enquiries can be made by email to info@desco.co.za.