Environmental Duty of Care and Liability: Setting the Scene

  • Section 2(4)(e) of NEMA provides that companies are responsibile for the environmental health and safety consequences of a policy, programme, project, product, process, service or activity throughout its life cycle.
  • This is known as the "cradle to grave" principle.
  • Section 28 of NEMA - "environmental duty of care"
  • Liability:
    • fines and imprisonment
    • Director and potential shareholder liability
    • Reputational risk

EPR: Context and Background

  • Recognizing waste and management practices relating to waste are matters that require national legislation and in order to promote and give effect to the right to an environment that is not harmful to health and wellbeing the National Environmental Management: Waste Act ("NEMWA") was promulgated.
  • NEMWA defines "extended producer responsibility measures" as measures that extend a person's financial or physical responsibility for a product to the postconsumer stage of the product..;

EPR: Context and Background

  • Section 18 of NEMWA
  • Section 69 of NEMWA

EPR Regulations:

  • GN 1184 of 5 November 2020: Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations(Government Gazette No. 43879) as amended on 15 January 2021 and 5 May 2021.
    • GN 1185 Extended producer responsibility scheme for the electrical & electronic equipment sector of 5 November 2020;
    • GN 1187 Extended producer responsibility scheme for paper, packaging and some single use products of 5 November 2020.
    • GN 1005 Draft Packaging Guideline: Recyclability by design for packaging and paper in South Africa of 6 October 2021.

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