On 07 April 2021, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries issued a Government Gazette notice on the “Amendment Regulations regarding Plastic Carrier Bags and Plastic Flat Bags, 2021”, in terms of the amendment of the National Environmental Management Act.
The notice relates to the prohibition of certain plastic carrier bags and plastic flat bags (plastic bags), be it the manufacture, trade or commercial distribution of domestically produced or imported for use within South Africa. The prohibition is being phased in requiring that:
- Plastic bags must be made from a minimum of 50% post-consumer recyclate from 01 January 2023;
- Plastic bags must be made from a minimum of 75% post-consumer recyclate from 01 January 2025; and
- Plastic bags must be made from 100% post-consumer recyclate from 01 January 2027.
Any person who contravenes the Regulation is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding R5 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 5 years, and in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding R10 million or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or in both instances, to both such fine and such imprisonment.
The Government Gazette notice is available on request.
Story by: Riaan de Lange