South Africa’s Constitution guarantees the right of all citizens to live in a clean, healthy environment.
As responsible corporate citizens, therefore, organisations are spending increasingly more resources on ensuring that their impact on the planet is positive. To ensure that they do so in as short a time frame as possible and with optimal benefits to the environment, legislation provides guidance as to best practice and also specifies who in the value chain is to take responsibility for which waste management and environmentally protective actions.
Many recent South African environmental legislative changes, particularly those that deal with waste and waste management, have “sustainable development” at their core. In line with this approach, legislation is drafted to ensure that:
- Reduction of waste at source becomes a priority
- Recycling and recovery become critical if reduction is not possible.
Of significance in this context is the National Environmental Management: Waste Act (No. 59 of 2008). The Act’s objectives are: