Keywords: Brazil, policy, waste management, PNRS, guidelines

On August 3, 2010, the Brazilian National Policy on Waste Management (PNRS) came into force. Established by Federal Law n. 12,305/2010, the PNRS provides for guidelines on joint and environmentally appropriate management of solid waste, and regulates issues such as joint management, proper allocation and disposal, and shared responsibilities.

According to the PNRS, waste management plans must be developed, implemented and operated by generators of waste resulting from industrial, health care, mining and public sanitation activities, as well as commercial establishments that generate hazardous waste. Construction companies, transport terminals and agricultural enterprises are also required to develop, implement and operate such plans. In addition to establishing that such plans should be part of environmental permitting proceedings, the PNRS also provides for their minimum content.

Regarding responsibilities in connection with waste, the PNRS establishes that government, business and the public are responsible for the effectiveness of actions aimed at ensuring compliance with its provisions. Therefore, the PNRS provides for shared responsibilities for the lifecycle of products, which must be individualized and interlinked, encompassing manufacturers, importers, distributors, traders, consumers and providers of urban sanitation and waste management public services.

In this sense, the requirement for the structuring and implementation of reverse logistics stands out. Regardless of urban sanitation and waste management public services, manufacturers, importers, distributors and sellers of certain products must enable the return of their products, after use by consumers, through the use of purchase procedures and the establishment of collection stations, among other initiatives. Agrochemicals, batteries, tires and lubricant oils are among the products that create such obligations. Nevertheless, they may be extended to any product sold in plastic, metal or glass packages, pursuant to pending regulation or other legal instrument.

Lastly, it is worth noting the creation of the National Registry of Hazardous Waste Operators, mandatory for companies that operate with hazardous waste

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Founded in 2001, Tauil & Chequer Advogados is a full service law firm with approximately 90 lawyers and offices in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Vitória. T&C represents local and international businesses on their domestic and cross-border activities and offers clients the full range of legal services including: corporate and M&A; debt and equity capital markets; banking and finance; employment and benefits; environmental; intellectual property; litigation and dispute resolution; restructuring, bankruptcy and insolvency; tax; and real estate. The firm has a particularly strong and longstanding presence in the energy, oil and gas and infrastructure industries as well as with pension and investment funds. In December 2009, T&C entered into an agreement to operate in association with Mayer Brown LLP and become "Tauil & Chequer Advogados in association with Mayer Brown LLP."

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This article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.