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EPR in Africa - what to expect in the next few years

EPR in Africa - what to expect in the next few years
by Rachel Langhill at 15:33 in Circular Economy, Environmental, Packaging

​This blog is part of a wider series from Lorax EPI, taking a deep-dive into the current and future landscapes for packaging extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations on a global scale.

At this time, minimal mandatory packaging EPR exists in Africa, though some countries are now entering the early stages of implementing such regulations. With South Africa coming online in future years and Kenya closely following suit, African producers can expect mandatory compliance in some countries by 2025, though it is unlikely to become widespread.

africa epr.jpg

South Africa

In November 2020, South Africa passed an EPR law for paper, packaging and some single-use products. This was then amended in January 2021 to extend the deadlines because of COVID-19 and again in March 2021 to provide additional clarity on definitions, recycling and recycled content targets, producer responsibility organisation (PRO) roles and responsibilities and minimum thresholds for producer obligation.

Producers have two options for ensuring compliance with these regulations:

  1. Join a PRO scheme: if a scheme is joined, then the scheme will handle the reporting to the authorities, take back etc. to ensure compliance with the regulations.
  2. Self-compliance: it is not necessary to join a scheme and producers can choose to self-comply, organize their own takeback and do their own reporting.


The regulations came into effect on 5 May 2021 and producers need to register with the Ministry of Environment by 5 November 2021. Once registration is complete and reporting begins, producers must also be prepared to meet minimum recycled content standards, which will be increasing over the next five years.

Kenya

The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, published a framework for the sector to form PROs in late 2020. The framework outlines a mechanism that requires all producers to be responsible for setting up take-back mechanism by which all end-of-life products need to be channelled back to authorised collection centres and recyclers, with a target of 30% take-back by 2024.

Products subject to EPR include:

  • Packaging materials
  • Composites (based on paper)
  • Plastic products
  • Glass
  • Pharmaceutical products (including packaging)
  • Etc.

The Kenya Producer Responsibility Organisation (KEPRO) was incorporated on 19 January 2021. They will implement an EPR model within the environmental laws and legal framework of Kenya. KEPRO was officially launched by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) on 9 June to promote collaboration, seek commitments by the packaging waste value chain and support the achievement of a circular economy.

Companies can voluntarily register with KEPRO, submit usage volumes and make monthly EPR payments. The launch of the KEPRO is in line with commitments made in the Kenya Plastic Action Plan, which seeks to enable a circular economy for the environmentally sustainable use and recycling of plastics in Kenya.


Other Countries

Some countries in Africa, including Tunisia and Namibia, have framework EPR laws in place, which would allow the Governments to enact regulations in the future though they do not have any now. Other countries, like Ghana and Cameroon, have very limited EPR programs which apply only to certain types of packaging, such as non-biodegradable materials. In Nigeria, voluntary EPR for products and packaging has existed for a few years now, commenced by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

Whilst packaging EPR is not expected to become wide-spread in Africa over the next few years, these many developments indicate a global push for more financial responsibility from producers in order to reach a circular economy.

With packaging EPR regulations comes packaging EPR compliance and reporting, which can become rather difficult when so many schemes around the world operate so differently from each other. Lorax EPI offers a comprehensive service, using our in-house, cloud-based software, which relieves the reporting burden for companies that have EPR obligations. We maintain detailed records of the reporting requirements of compliance schemes around the world and work with businesses to ensure that all EPR reports are submitted correctly and on time.

If you are interested in knowing more about our software and reporting services, please contact us to talk to one of our consultants today.


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