On October 6, 2022, a federal decree that aims to institute the take back requirement system for plastic packaging was opened for public consultation. Comments on the decree should be sent to the Secretariat of Environmental Quality of the Ministry of Environment through the online platform by November 4, 2022.
This consultation was already expected by the plastic sector, considering the government’s intention to institute decrees on take back requirements by each type of packaging materials.
The proposed text expressly revokes the Sectorial Agreement for General Packaging (2015) regarding plastic packaging. The text also authorizes the issuance of new rules aiming to link environmental licenses and/or its renewal on the demonstration of compliance with the legal requirements of the take back requirement system.
The federal decree foresees two phases for the implementation of the obligations:
- Phase 1 (which will begin with the decree’s publication and last for 180 days) will consist of (i) installing the Performance Monitoring Group (GAP), (ii) manufacturers and importers joining the management entity (or presenting their individual model to the GAP), (iii) traders and distributors joining the management entity (or presenting its individual system), (iv) developing of financial mechanisms to ensure economic sustainability in structuring the implementation and operationalization of the system, (v) preparing communication and environmental education plans, (vi) drafting the Basic Operational Manual and Operational Plan by the companies, and finally, (vii) structuring a mechanism that allows necessary data to be reported and monitored by the government through SINIR.
- Phase 2 (which will begin right after the Phase 1 finishes) deals with the execution of the take back requirements activities. It will consist of (i) installing reception and consolidation points, (ii) signing a legal instrument between cooperatives/associations and companies/managing entities, for services, (iii) guaranteeing the environmentally final destination of waste, considering the decree’s goals, (iv) executing the communication and environmental education plans, and (v) monitoring and evaluating the system.
Similarly to the decree that instituted Recicla+ (Federal Decree No. 11.044/2022), a black box system was established, which will allow anonymized information from the business sector to be collected and, in a confidential and secure way, the quantity of products or masses of plastic packaging made available on the market and returned to the productive sector to be obtained.
Moreover, the federal decree’s text available for public consultation consolidates the rules for financing the take back requirement system, seeking to establish that the agents involved in the plastic chain (manufacturers, importers, distributors and traders) must ensure, among other aspects, the economic and financial sustainability of reverse logistics.
The decree’s text also brought specific regional and national minimum targets for recycling disposable plastic packaging placed on the domestic market, aligned with PLANARES — Federal Decree No. 11.043/2022.
In particular, for 2023, for example, the goals for plastic packaging recycling at regional and national levels would be North (2.64%), Northeast (4.39%), Center-West (4.39%), Southeast (10.55%) and South (5.27%), totalizing 27.25% nationwide.
In an innovative way, annual targets were also established until 2032 for the use of “recycled content” in packaging — that is, the proportion of the mass of recycled raw material that should be used to produce packaging in relation to the total mass of packaging. For 2023, a national target of 21% was stipulated.
Finally, provisions were made for monitoring and evaluating the system, as well as penalties in the event of noncompliance with the rules.
Our Environment, Climate Change and Sustainability team has extensive knowledge on the subject and is available to discuss the impacts of this new federal government proposal on the day-to-day operations of companies and to assist in preparing comments to the text.