Responsible Packaging Management is a process that follows the entire lifecycle of a container. Its purpose is to address economic, legal and regulatory concerns associated with container use.
Today we live under new standards of environmental responsibility and conservation of natural resources. All forms of packaging are being re-examined to enhance reuse and recyclability. Environmental damage resulting from improper disposal of used packagings - including, often, their residues - is no longer tolerated. Increasingly, it is packaging producers and users who are expected to see that these standards are met. Used steel and plastic containers have two environmentally acceptable fates: to be reconditioned and reused as shipping containers, or to be processed for scrap and recycling. In both cases, all residues of prior contents must be removed, neutralised and disposed of in compliance with all relevant requirements.
Fortunately, the reconditioning industry has the equipment and the know-how to accomplish both tasks. Working together with steel drum users under the Responsible Container Management programme, both the producers and users of this time-tested, economic and versatile package can ensure compliance with today's high standards. This also applies to plastic containers and IBC's.
The task is large and we are at the beginning of a continuing journey of providing a service to members. There is currently a void which needs to be addressed in providing a service to help our industry in Southern Africa raise its standards in line with global trends. The support and good wishes of the international bodies will be invaluable in guiding us through.
However, we need to ensure that all we do is also appropriate to the environment in which we operate here in Southern Africa. To make this work we need the involvement and support of all facets of the container industry to help set appropriate standards and policies. We extend the invitation for membership to members of the industry, to be a founder member and help shape the direction of the Association so that we are recognised as the voice of the industry for responsible Packaging Management