South Africa will have a lot of work to do after the global pandemic. We find ourselves, like many other countries around the world, in an economic crisis as a result of the virus and its effect on every industry. According to the South African government, waste companies can play a role in speeding up the country’s economic recovery once the pandemic subsides.
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries recently published an extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework that will be used to support this recovery plan. “These EPR schemes are part of the Reconstruction and Economic Recovery Plan recently announced by the president as key contributors towards green economy initiatives,” explains the Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy.
The president’s plan aims to create more jobs through infrastructure investment and mass employment programmes. It also outlines how to re-industrialise the economy, provide aid to small businesses and unlock investment opportunities for South African companies. The plan even makes provisions for tackling crime and corruption in the wake of Covid-19.
Waste companies will play a role
The department also published an EPR for the plastics and packaging sector which outlined how waste companies and the post-consumer management of plastic refuse can bolster the economy. The recovery efforts will require huge collaboration between industries, the government, small businesses and individual stakeholders.
“Annual targets for post-consumer waste management have been set and the producers will be accounting to the country each year on progress towards meeting these targets,” says Creecy. The plastics industry contributes around R70-billion to South Africa’s economy per year and accounts for over 60 000 jobs.
The effective control and recycling of plastic waste will help to stimulate the national economy in the wake of the pandemic. All companies that operate in the waste sector, whether directly or indirectly, will be able to play their part in the financial stabilisation of South Africa.
Sustainability and the environment are key
Sustainability and the circular economy form a core focus of the EPR and waste companies are encouraged to maximise recycling in all areas. These materials can then be processed, sold and reused to manufacture valuable products. “The circular economy is central in order to reduce the negative impact of plastic waste on our country and its people”, explains Creecy.
Plastic pollution will need to be publicly addressed - South Africans need to be made more aware of sustainable consumption and disposal practices. By growing the recycling sector and secondary materials economy, South Africa can build solid foundations for the post-pandemic recovery. Local municipalities will also be required to strengthen their waste collection activities to support the private sector of waste companies.
“The department is also presently assisting municipalities to apply for the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) in order to procure compactor trucks that aid in waste collection and landfill compactors for the operation of landfill sites,” concludes Creecy. As an active waste control company, IWESCO will play its part in the growth of the South African waste sector and the national economy. Contact us today for more information on our waste control services.
IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.