Though steel drums are not new to the world of industrial packaging, they are one of the most recognizable types of packaging that fulfill GREEN initiatives. Being the packaging type that is most used for global hazardous material shipments, the steel drum is one of the few packagings that has it‘s initial life, then depending on the metal thickness, can be reconditioned for another 3–7 lives, and then the exhausted packaging can be 100% recycled. This means that a single steel drum can serve as many as 4–8 shipments of product before being sold for scrap. It’s important to point out that the number of reconditionable turns of the drum is a function of the top, bottom and body wall metal thickness. While many drum manufacturers are reducing the metal thickness to reduce the initial drum cost, this also substantially reduces the number of "trips" the drum will make before recycling. Hence, the small initial savings does, ultimately, increase the cost of packaging. Unlike other packagings that have only a single life, or that are "recycleable" but not reusable, the steel drum qualifies for the GREEN objectives by using our natural resources more efficiently and encouraging reuse and recycling of industrial packaging.
STEEL DRUM INDUSTRY NEWS, TRENDS AND ISSUES
Archive for November, 2007
It’s been a long time since we’ve mentioned the benefits of stainless steel over oak for wine making, but recently, we attended a symposium in which these benefits were eagerly touted. Wineries wanting to “go green” are including Skolnik’s Stainless Steel Wine Barrels in their environmental strategies. Made from recycled materials and with the ability to be re-used for many years, stainless steel wine barrels are being seen in a new light by winemakers wanting to reduce their environmental footprint. With increasing concern about the use of oak barrels, which requires the chopping down of trees, stainless steel barrels offer a unique and long lasting alternative. Once hidden from winery visitors, stainless steel wine barrels are now being proudly used as an example of environmental stewardship.
In our October 2007 edition of the SKOLNIKNEWS, we reinforced the need for hazmat shippers to follow a manufacturer‘s closure instructions prior to every shipment. Several readers responded and indicated that my word of warning was timely. Per 49CFR 178.2(c) closures should be checked for tightness prior to shipment. Without being checked, it is likely that the DOT will consider the drums to be in violation of the CFR, and the shipper will be fined. We have so many customers that want to prepare their packagings to be compliant that we try to alert them to all the nuances of the CFR requirement. Therefore, be certain to re-tighten all closures (plugs and rings) prior to shipment to confirm compliance with the manufacturer’s Closure Instruction. Failure to do so is considered non-compliant if discovered by a DOT inspector. Furthermore, during a DOT inspection, if a shipper does not demonstrate that they reconfirm the Closure Instruction process, they can be sited for non-compliance.