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Ms Zanele Mvusi DEAT




15 March 2007

Thank you for inviting interested parties to comment on the above. 1. WHAT IS PACSA? The Packaging Council of South Africa (PACSA) is a voluntary industry body. Its members (as per Annexure 1) are in three broad categories – Converters, Associates and Affiliates. The Converters represent some 70% of the R29 billion per annum revenue generated by the industry. Associates are in effect the major raw material suppliers, and Affiliates are customers and major recyclers. Collectively this body directly employs some 60 000 people in South Africa. Additionally it is estimated that there are over 50 000 people employed in packaging recycling industries of which the bulk are harvesters. 2. PACKAGING AND THE ENVIRONMENT Packaging is an essential part of modern life allowing people to consume fresh, uncontaminated food and beverages wherever they want in the quantities needed. Packaging allows the contents to be preserved (e.g. long life milk) and this ensures that vast quantities of produce do not rot en route to the consumer. To illustrate this a study conducted in the Soviet Union some thirty years ago, where the packaging and food processing industries were not sophisticated, revealed that some 40% of agricultural produce did not reach the consumer in a state fit for consumption. The preservation function of packaging is particularly relevant in South Africa with our comparatively small population spread over large distances. Packaging delivers many benefits to our modern society. Modern living has driven the desire for convenience foods in ready to prepare and single serve formats, this pre-preparation ultimately reduces the possible amount of solid food waste generated by households. Furthermore, clever structural design of packaging can optimize space/load utilisation and can therefore optimize energy efficiency in transport and handling.
Postal Address: P.O. Box 131400, Bryanston 2021, South Africa Telephone 011 463 9909; Fax 011 463 6022: email; website ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Directors: N. Cumming (President), A. Marthinusen (Executive Director), M. Arnold (British), R. Crewe-Brown, N. Naidoo, K. Pearson, M.T. Spence, B.K. Thomas, R.P. Von Veh

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Packaging allows South Africa to export vast quantities of processed foods canned fruit and vegetables, and beverages such as wine. We do recognise that after its useful life packaging enters the waste stream often in the highly visible form of litter. Sub-sectors of the Packaging Industry have voluntarily exercised their extended producer responsibilities forming a variety of organisations dedicated to increasing the collection and recycling of their products. You are aware of these initiatives, Annexure A, and there are some MOU’s in place to record these. These organisations and PACSA are keen to build on the good work done already and will be pleased to continue to work with DEAT to ensure continuous improvements in the recycling rates and awareness programmes to achieve our joint objectives. 3. SPECIFIC COMMENTS ON THE DRAFT BILL 3.1. DEFINITIONS The definitions and concepts in this Bill differ from those published in some Draft Provincial Bills. This is confusing and there should be uniformity in this regard. 3.2. POWERS AND DUTIES OF VARIOUS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT 3.2.1. STANDARDS The Bill states that MEC’s may not alter National Standards, except to make the Provincial requirements more stringent. Equally, Municipalities may only change National and Provincial Standards to make them more stringent. We do not agree that MEC’s or Municipalities should be able to impose more stringent standards than the Minister. This could only make business much more complicated and costly. Our local market is so much smaller than other economies that compliance with a myriad of standards concerning the same product in this small market would be impractical, costly and very inefficient. We see no positive results for South Africa from this provision. To illustrate our viewpoint, we set out below a hypothetical case as to what could happen to an industry in South Africa. We do not know what the individual MEC intentions are, so the scenario is unlikely to happen in every respect but it does show the art of the possible in the Draft Bill. Such an outcome could cripple an industry.

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HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE OF APPLICATION OF WASTE BILL The Wine Industry is a major employer both directly and indirectly in South Africa. In view of the comparatively small size of the South African market and the cost effectiveness of this Industry, it has developed major export markets for the benefit of SA. The bulk of wine is sold in 750ml single-trip glass bottles, because this is what the consumer wants and is the most efficient packaging available for wine. The major companies in this Industry together with glass suppliers have all signed an MOU with DEAT, setting targets for recycling etc. We can find no reference to these agreements in the Draft legislation and thus regrettably must assume that provinces and municipalities will not feel themselves bound by them. This in itself would be a major setback for recycling. As we understand the Draft Bill, the following events could take place within a short period of the bill becoming law. 1. Province 1 could decide that all wine in their area must be packed in returnable packaging. Consequence: Glass packaging needs to be re-specified for that province, a new pack introduced and these empty bottles need to be returned to the Western Cape for washing and refilling. The new pack would mean smaller runs and hence higher cost for glass industry and their customers. 2. Province 2 could also do as above with the extra rider that the containers must be manufactured from 75% recycled glass. Consequence: As above but a further glass pack introduced that would have to be different from point 1. 3. Province 3 could insist on 75% recycled materials in the existing single trip bottles. Consequence: as above to further complicate supply chain, but no need to transport back for filling. 4. Province 4 could declare these glass bottles as a priority waste on account of the “nuisance” factor and ban glass altogether. Consequence: The industry would need to develop an alternate non glass pack and probably invest in new filling lines for that specific Province’s market. 5. Province 5 (KZN) could decree that all bottles be returned to the manufacturer/agent at no cost. This is in their Draft Bill. Consequence: Expensive and very inefficient solution,

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particularly as the existing MOU is solving the problem in a structured way. 6. Province 6 could decide that labels of wine bottles in their area must contain information on disposal. Consequence: The industry would have to order labels and hold separate finished goods stock specifically for that Province, resulting in a much more complex supply chain. Label runs would shorten with cost and price implications. 7. Other provinces could impose other different information requirements on their labels. Consequence: As above but complexity now much greater. 8. Province 7 could decide that the outer packaging is “excessive over-packaging” and issues an edict that this must be replaced with much lighter corrugated boxes. Consequence: Same argument with introducing different glass bottles in terms of complexity. Furthermore, breakages en route to destination could increase. 9. Two provinces independently can decide that a Glass Industry Management Plan is required for each province. Consequence: Unnecessary duplication of effort. The glass Industry like many others is national and not provincial. 10. Province 1 introduces extended producer responsibility measures for glass, that are significantly more stringent than anyone else and do not recognise any monies spent already nationally on such initiatives. Consequence: If the measures are more onerous and result in additional cost, this could negatively impact industry’s willingness to involve itself in national initiatives. 11. Province 5 (KZN) introduces a wide ranging tax as part of its proposed environmental tax, including wine packaging – again with no reference to monies already spent on National Initiatives. Consequence: This in essence would mean a duplication of taxes and monies spent in an unfocussed area which again would discourage industries from involving themselves in National Recycling Programmes. 12. Each municipality sets its own requirement in the respect of the recovery, re-use and recycling of waste. Consequence: Each different initiative adds complexity to the industry and its supply chain We hope you will appreciate that this example demonstrates how one or more of these issues could cause chaos in the supply chain and lead to an unnecessary burden of extra costs. This is

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particularly important in export based industries where these costs could make those industries uncompetitive. This also flies in the face of government policy to make it easier to conduct business in South Africa. We frankly do not understand the need for all the different standards as we see no benefit to the country for this potential massive extra complexity. We strongly urge that the National Department sets the standards that all Provinces and Municipalities are required to implement. 3.3. CHAPTER 3 WASTE MANAGEMENT MEASURES 3.3.1. PRIORITY WASTE (19) In our view, the definition of priority waste is too wide and the word “nuisance” should be deleted from the criteria for determining a priority waste. Conceivably, all waste could be regarded as a nuisance and the intention cannot be to have all waste classified as priority waste. This should also be the responsibility of the Minister. For reasons outlined before, we do not believe Provinces should have this authority. 3.3.2. DUTY TO PROVIDE COLLECTION SERVICES (27) We applaud the inclusion of this paragraph and would like to see some more obligation on the provision of receptacles and a phased approach where separation at source becomes compulsory. 3.3.3. RECOVERY, RE-USE AND RECYCLING OF WASTE (30) We assume that a public participation process must be followed before the Minister requires a percentage of recycled material in a product. This is to ensure that there are no unintended consequences such as non-performance of the product. 3.3.4. GENERAL DUTIES IN RESPECT OF HOLDERS OF WASTE The duties imposed are very onerous and the maximum fines these activities appear to be excessive. 3.3.5. COLLECTION OF WASTE (28) Is it the intention to require harvesters who work for themselves, using vehicles such as trolleys, to be required to be licensed?

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3.3.6. INDUSTRY WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANS (34) South Africa is a small market and in our opinion only the Minister should have the authority to require such a plan to be prepared. In many if not most cases an industry in South Africa can only be considered as such in a National context. We can find no reference in the draft Bill to the future status of MOU’s which are already in place between Industry and DEAT. We request that these are allowed to be continued and must be respected by all levels of government. 3.3.7. PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY (48) We appeal once again that for reasons outlined earlier, this power be vested in the Minister only, not MEC’s. 4. CHAPTER 8: GENERAL MATTERS 4.1. REGULATIONS (74) We are not sure why this section is in place as the items are all covered in the preceding sections of the Bill. We request the power of regulation in these matters be restricted to the Minister. 4.2. CONSULTATION (77) We would request that to avoid unintended consequences, the Minister or MEC’s be required to make direct contact with affected Industry Bodies in addition to measures proposed in the Bill. 4.3. EDUCATION We appreciate this may cross departmental boundaries but would like to see some reference to the requirements that schools introduce, into their curricula, Environmental Education with specific reference to waste and litter. We trust that you find these proposals positive and will be able to incorporate the suggested changes in your next draft.

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We are available at short notice for discussion on any of these issues. Yours Faithfully,


Andrew Marthinusen Executive Director PACKAGING COUNCIL OF SOUTH AFRICA

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Annexure A

INITIATIVES PUT IN PLACE BY THE PACKAGING INDUSTRY WHICH HAVE THE ACTIVE SUPPORT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM (DEAT). WASTE STREAM PLASTICS Plastic Bags • Buyisa-e-Bag operational • Targets in place to improve recycling rates and create awareness/educate the public about litter through advertising Memorandum of Agreement in Place Buyisa-e-Bag Memorandum of Understanding recently signed with DEAT Memorandum of Understanding in draft form, scheduled to be signed on 29 June 2006. INITIATIVE PROGRESS WITH DEAT

PET Bottles

• PET industry agreed on a selfregulation strategy • PETCO registered as a Pty Ltd company in December 2004 • PETCO’s main objective is to promote and advance the collection and recycling of post consumer PET material in South Africa • The PET recycling levy became effective on 01 April 2005 • The Glass Recycling Company… is up and running • Its main objective is to facilitate a substantial increase in the collection, recycling and re-use of used glass in the glass container industry • Draft Memorandum of Understanding, with the main purpose: ‘to adopt a joint approach for addressing the impacts associated with the generation, re-use, collection, transportation and disposal of recoverable paper.’ • Collect-a-Can initiative and model has been well accepted and promoted by DEAT. • Future targets to be set with DEAT for further improved recovery rates.


Memorandum of Understanding signed in May 2005.


Memorandum of Understanding in draft form, scheduled to be signed in October 2006.


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