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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Steel Drums are all about GREEN

February 28th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

Recognized worldwide as the leading package used for transporting liquids and solids, steel drums are not new to the world of industrial packaging. In fact, steel drums are one of the most recognizable types of packaging that fulfill GREEN initiatives. In addition to being the most widely used package for liquid and solid shipments, it also is the packaging type that is most used for global hazardous material shipments. The steel drum is one of the few packagings that has a “maiden voyage”, then depending on the metal thickness, can be reconditioned for another 3-7 more “trips,” and eventually 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 reconditioning lives of the drum is a function of the top, bottom and body wall metal thickness. While many drum manufacturers choose to reduce the metal thickness to reduce the initial raw material cost, this also substantially reduces the number of “trips,” the drum will make before recycling. Hence, the small initial savings might, initially, reduce the cost of packaging, but it also increases the RISK of a packaging breach. 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.

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