Who We Are

The RPMASA is the leading Southern African organisation for all in the supply chain of Industrial and Retail chemicals and products, providing various services for Classification, Packaging, Labelling, safe transport and storage. It has links to various International Organisations through its participation in the UN Committee of Experts for transport of dangerous goods and the GHS. The mission of RPMASA is to promote the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible:

  • Manufacture
  • Packaging, labeling & handling
  • Storage & transport
  • Recovery for re-use or recycle of used chemical packaging
  • provide a focal point for all organisations involved in the life cycle of industrial & retail chemical packagings through it’s various services, as well as to -
  • promote responsible packaging and container management,
  • encourage partnerships along the value chain together with government and interested parties,
  • encourage industry's commitment to the public to continuously improve its health, safety and environmental practice and performance.
  • provide a voice to Government for responsible and practical regulations and standards

Our Mission

  • provide a focal point for all organisations involved in the life cycle of these industrial containers,
  • promote responsible packaging and container management,
  • encourage partnerships along the value chain together with government and interested parties,
  • encourage industry's commitment to the public to continuously improve its health, safety and environmental practice and performance.
  • provide a voice to Government

RPMASA supports and promotes the "Codes of Operating Practice" compiled by the international body.

Internationally Responsible Packaging Management - RPM has been operational for 60 years with the founding of the ADR (American Drum Reconditioners) in 1942 - now RIPA (Reusable Industrial Packaging Association). The international co-ordinating body, ICCR (International Confederation of Container Reconditioners), co-ordinates international industry activities and participates in international regulatory and standards forums, such as the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, and the International Standards Organisation.

The RPMASA also has a seat on the UN Committee of Experts for Transport of Dangerous Goods and GHS


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.

Responsible Packaging Management has several key elements:

Responsible Packaging Management begins with the selection of container performance characteristics by the container filler. Here a variety of needs must be accommodated. Essential is the recognition of the influence original selection requirements exert upon used container disposition options. Container reconditioners and dealers can provide useful, practical information to assist buyers in enhancing the value of their containers after use. Where possible, purchasers should buy containers that bear a "preferred" UN marking.

The process of container disposition begins during the period when the container status changes from full to empty. Persons responsible for empty container management have several crucial responsibilities. These include: proper emptying; maintenance of labels; preparation for shipment; control procedures; and selection of a qualified reconditioner or dealer to accept empty containers.

Certification of empty container status is an indispensable, core requirement of Responsible Packaging Management. It is essential to ensure regulatory compliance and prevent assumption of unwanted liability exposure. It develops an added benefit by reducing wasted raw material products.

A Responsible Packaging Management audit assists container users to review the essential aspects of container selection, use and management. The audit helps identify those areas important to facilitate proper disposition of used containers.

Plant Review for Container Emptiers Responsible Packaging Management ends for the emptier with a review of the container reconditioning plant where used containers are cleaned, and then either reconditioned for reuse or recycled as scrap. Several areas of plant operations should be consulted to confirm regulatory compliance.

Plant Review for Reconditioned Container Purchasers Buyers of reconditioned containers for use with hazardous materials should also review plant operations for compliance with UN and Department of Transport requirements (refer SANS 10228, 10229 & 10232) of the waste disposal facility to be used.


With a Responsible Packaging Management programme, container emptiers can maximise value for their used containers, ensure environmental regulatory compliance, and eliminate serious liability exposures. Buyers of reconditioned containers can also assure themselves that they are purchasing a reliable product whilst dealing with a reputable organisation and encouraging legal compliance and global best practice. Responsible Container Management incorporates new approaches to the long-standing concerns of used container disposition, and it meets the challenge of today's strict new regulations and heightened standards of environmental responsibility.


  • To provide a home for all members of the industrial container industry.
  • To provide a focal point and co-ordinated approach to participation and action re policy standards, regulations and legislation.
  • To liaise with and establish good relationships with other related industry associations and trade bodies, to improve understanding, foster issues of mutual benefit and promote closer co-operation.
  • To advocate Responsible Packaging Management and develop improved standards for members to attain and be assessed against.
  • To provide an information service to the industry.
  • To provide an audit information service to members regarding the industry, similar to that of CEFIC and CDI in Europe.
  • To liaise with government and other organisations and provide input regarding related policy, legislation, regulations and standards.
  • To promote openness and provide information to the public.

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


Members of the Association are encouraged to use the logo to promote the Association and their commitment to Responsible Packaging Management - RPM.
The following rules should be observed to protect the Integrity of the Association and its name, the RPMASA Logo and the name of the International Initiative "Responsible Packaging Management".

  • Use of the Logo and phrase Responsible Packaging Management, RPM or Responsible Container Management, RCM is restricted to Members of RPMASA in Southern Africa.
  • Permission to use the logo and wording will be given to members once they have signed the Commitment to the RPMASA Guiding Principles and returned a signed copy together with their completed baseline questionnaire to the National office for their file.
  • Similarly permission will be given to Reprocessor and Recycler members who have completed and returned their documents to the National Office and been audited.
  • The Logo and Phrase RCM or RPM can be used on Company literature, letterheads, business cards, etc. They can also be used to designate the Organisation (as a member), but NOT the product or service.
  • They may NOT be used on packaging, drums or containers which are not fully under the control of the member,
  • They may NOT be used on packaging, drums, containers or transport where it could be construed to imply the endorsement of the product or service.
  • They may NOT be used by members' business associates, franchises, agents or commercial partners, who are not members in their own right,
  • Members who have been audited and registered with the National body as compliant may add the words "Audited Member" under the logo.