Environmental policies and regulations have a strong impact on future packaging trends. A sustainable environment is important for the public, industry and Government which in turn contributes to a healthy economy; but it is essential that all industrial packaging meets current packaging legislation. The Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA)’s role is to help members operate in an appropriately regulated market place to maximise competitiveness.
Industrial Packaging is designed and manufactured to specifications for the different risk classes of chemicals and industrial products to be safe and secure in transport and use worldwide. All packaging used for dangerous substances or products containing substances with UN numbers must be performance tested and certified by an accredited packaging test laboratory as per the United Nations Model regulations and is permanently marked with the manufacturers specific certification markings confirming specification, date and factory of manufacture. Similarly reprocessed packaging should be the correct specification for use, be tested and bear the reprocessors registration mark in addition to the original manufacturer’s marks.
Packaging is vital to modern systems of production, distribution and consumption. The packaging industry has been under pressure for more than 20 years to reduce the environmental impacts of its products. South Africa has a significant threat in the reprocessing market through the frequent purchase of incorrect specification packaging which cannot be reused hence unnecessary waste, and the direct scrap of perfectly good, re-useable drums and Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), which is wasteful, increases resource and energy use, and carbon footprint to the detriment of our environment.
Making use of the correct specification is vital to reduce risks to people and the environment during handling, storage and transport of products as well as to contribute to sustainable use of resources and reduced carbon footprint.
“RPMASA members now have a significant opportunity to help people reduce their overall environmental footprint by choosing packaging companies that comply with regulations,’’ says Liz Anderson, President of the RPMASA. “Most importantly we applaud members who are already using regulated companies for their commitment to the waste hierarchy and environmental sustainability.”
Anderson continued, “With the emergence of regulatory requirements to address extended producer responsibility and other environmental packaging legislation currently in the pipeline, this is a critical time for our industry to join the RPMASA initiatives to offer a compelling voice. Purchase of the correct specification package results in resource, energy and cost savings as well as reduced risk and liability.”
For more information about the RPMASA and membership organisations can log on www.rpmasa.org.za
Notes to Editors
The RPMASA is part of a network of organizations’ around the world that follow the entire lifecycle of Industrial packaging. RPMASA addresses economic, legal and regulatory concerns associated with drum and container use and reuse, as well as uplifting the standard of drum reconditioning through global best practice. It has a seat on the UN Committees of Experts for Transport of dangerous goods and the GHS, National Standards Committees and the Waste Act Steering committee to assist members, and bring best practice to our industries.