Environmental policies and regulations have a strong impact on future packaging trends. It is essential that all industrial packaging meets current legislation.
The role of the Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA) is to help members operate in an appropriately regulated marketplace to maximise competitiveness.
Industrial packaging is designed and manufactured to specifications for the different risk classes of chemicals and industrial products, to ensure products remain safe and secure in transport and in use worldwide.
RPMASA provides some guidelines on industrial packaging compliance:
- All packaging used for dangerous substances or products containing substances with United Nations (UN) numbers must be performance tested and certified by an accredited packaging test laboratory as per the UN Model regulations\
- It also needs to be permanently marked with the manufacturer’s specific certification markings confirming specification, date and factory of manufacture.
- Reprocessed packaging should be the correct specification for use, be tested and bear the reprocessor’s 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 scrapping of perfectly good, reusable drums and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) which is wasteful, increases resource and energy use, as well as carbon footprint to the detriment of the 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.