Home South African All plastic bags to be 100 percent recyclable by 2027

All plastic bags to be 100 percent recyclable by 2027

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The minister has since called on the public to comment on the amendment to the regulations.

File image. Picture: Andrew Ingram

DURBAN, August 24 (ANA) – South African Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy said on Monday that the department was in the process of amending a law that will require all plastic bags to comprise 100% recyclable material from 2027.

“Plastic waste has not only become a challenge in diverting it from going to landfill sites, but has grown to be one of the most problematic waste streams, which continues to harm the environment.

“Plastic waste is mostly common in illegal dumps, landfill sites and rivers, and ultimately ends up in oceans, causing harm to marine life,” Creecy said in a statement.

On August 7, Creecy published her intention to amend the Environment Conservation Act Plastic Carrier Bags and Plastic Flat Bags Regulations of 2003 in the government gazette.

The amendments proposed 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.

One of the amendments to the regulations prohibits the manufacturing, 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 amendments further state that plastic carrier bags and plastic flat bags must be made from a minimum of 50% post-consumer recyclate from January 1, 2023, 75% of recycled materials from 2025 and must comprise 100% post-consumer recyclate from 2027.

Any person found in contravention of these 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.

The minister has since called on the public to comment on the amendment to the regulations.

– African News Agency (ANA)