Integrating the Informal Sector into the South African Waste and Recycling Economy in the Context of Extended Producer Responsibility
Publication Type:
Research Paper

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has gazetted its intent to call for EPR in paper and packaging; waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE); and lighting–it already has EPR in place for waste tyres–through the development and implementation of Industry Waste Management Plans (IndWMP). EPR is an advanced policy instrument, implemented widely in developed countries, aimed at shifting the responsibility (financial and operational) (partially or fully) for the management of certain waste streams from government, typically municipalities, to producers. A crucial aspect that government, business and academia must consider in designing and implementing these EPR schemes for South Africa, is the existing informal sector, a very active, but still largely marginalised community of waste pickers. This Briefing Note presents the findings from two regional workshops held during September and October 2015, on integrating the informal sector and SMEs into Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management in South Africa.

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