Instead of supporting the outdated, linear approach of producing, using and discarding plastic packaging waste that continues to hold value after it has been used, our focus is now on developing a true circular economy within South Africa – where the value of waste is never lost but is kept within the economy by ensuring that these materials are reused and recycled into many new and useful materials. Luckily, South Africa’s plastics industry is well positioned for this next stage of environmental legislation. We have four voluntary, industry-led PRO’s that have been running for many years now and have impressive track-records of collection and recycling successes, namely PETCO for PET, Polyco for polyolefins (PP, HDPE, LDPE/LLDPE and Multi-layer), the Polystyrene Association for polystyrene, Southern African Vinyls Association for PVC. Each of these PROs collect voluntary EPR fees from their members and use the revenue they generate to support the collection, sorting and recycling of recyclable materials by informal waste pickers, small and medium-sized collectors and large-scale mechanical recyclers. The new Section 18 regulations are a welcome step forward towards a more collaborative approach between government and industry. As an industry, we are committed to continue working closely with government as this process unfolds. We urge you to start the process now by engaging with the relevant plastics industry PRO’s listed below. Reporting against the gazetted targets starts in Jan 2022.