The department is developing a Plastics Master Plan with targets, timeframes, actions and specific goals to ensure that actions discussed at the Colloquium are implemented and that everyone responsible for the work is held accountable.
Among the most important amendments to the Regulations is the prohibition of the manufacture, trade and distribution of domestically produced and imported plastic carrier bags and plastic flat bags that do not meet outlined specifications for use within South Africa.
The proposed amendments focus on ‘post-consumer recyclate’ material generated by households or by commercial, industrial and institutional facilities in their role as end-users of the product.
The amendments also state that plastic carrier bags and plastic flat bags must be made from a minimum of 50% post-consumer recyclate from 1 January 2023, 75% of recycled materials from 2025 and must comprise 100% post-consumer recyclate from 2027.
In terms of the amendment, any person who contravenes the regulations could face a fine not exceeding R5 million or five years imprisonment.
In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, the person could be imprisoned for up to 10 years or face a R10 million fine.