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What does HAZMAT mean?

May 24th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

HAZMAT is an abbreviation for “hazardous materials”—substances in quantities, or forms, that may pose a reasonable risk to health, property, or the environment. HAZMATs include such substances as toxic chemicals, fuels, nuclear waste products, and biological, chemical, and radiological agents. HAZMATs may be released as liquids, solids, gases, or a combination or form of all three, including dust, fumes, gas, vapor, mist, and smoke. The actual term “HAZMAT” is used predominantly within the US, or abroad by US companies. Outside the US, this term is known as “DANGEROUS GOODS.”

HAZMAT spills have caused health problems, injuries, and death in people and animals, and have damaged buildings, homes, property, and the environment. Given such dire consequences, it is reasonable to conclude that one may not encounter HAZMATs on a daily basis. The truth, however, is that many products containing hazardous chemicals are routinely used and stored in homes, and are transported every day on the nation’s highways, railroads, airlines, waterways, and pipelines.

Thousands of incidents occur each year in which HAZMATs are released into the environment as a result of accidents or natural disasters. In addition to potentially harming people and the environment, spills in coastal waters may cause substantial disruption of marine transportation with potential widespread economic impacts. Both coastal and inland spills are called HAZMAT incidents, and are routinely addressed by first responders like firefighters and local law enforcement.

Skolnik manufacturers steel containers specifically designed and tested to safely contain dangerous goods that are being transported and/or stored in public and private right-of-way. HAZMAT drums comply with the UN Testing Recommendations as well as the US DOT 49 CFR requirements for manufacture of steel HAZMAT drums. Many sizes, levels of protection, coatings and special requirements are found at www.skolnik.com.

Renewal of “M” Numbers

May 17th, 2022 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

At the recent Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA) Technical Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, an update was provided to RIPA members on recent changes:

  1. Beginning in November 2017, U.S. DOT began putting registered “M” numbers on a 5-year cycle for renewal.
  2. M-Number holders were given one year to write into DOT and preserve their number(s). RIPA assisted its members in fulfilling this task.
  3. Reconditioner numbers (“R” Numbers and “Registered Symbols” were allowed to continue for the purpose of marking packaging).
  4. Members were advised to look for correspondence from DOT re-establishing their M Number(s), as many are coming due for renewal in late 2022 and early 2023.

The RIPA meeting was well attended and featured an outstanding presentation by Bill Schoonover, PHMS OHMS, on “DOT Looks to the Future of Regulation”.

Is it About Time We Give Up Glass Wine Bottles?

May 10th, 2022 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Writing in a recent edition of VinePair, Samantha Maxwell makes the following observation: “Sustainability is a buzzword in every industry, but when it’s used in reference to wine, there’s an immediate association with organic vineyards, biodynamics, and the ever-elusive concept of “natural” wine. Until recently, every time I carried my clanging, beautifully labeled bottles from the nearest natural wine shop home in my canvas tote, I would revel in my eco-friendliness knowing that I had avoided the mass-produced juice I used to drink straight from the spigot when I was in my college years”.

Maxwell continues: “As it turns out, I am not the wine-sipping environmental warrior I had imagined myself to be. Because while responsible farming practices may be important in producing wines that have a minimal negative impact on the environment, sustainability in the wine world comes down to the packaging just as much as the wine itself. And though glass may appear to be the better option, those pretty bottles you keep long after the wine has been consumed are not that great for the environment.”

Sarah Trubnick, founder of Northeast Wine Company and owner of San Francisco’s “The Barrel Room”, has a background in science but is now firmly entrenched in the wine world. She says that of all the ways wine can be packaged, “glass is the worst, hands down.” And although age-worthy wines may require glass packaging, there’s no reason that young, ready-to-drink wines couldn’t be packaged in other materials.

Glass’s lack of sustainability has many causes, but it all starts with the production of the material itself. While cans, plastic, and cardboard can be produced with renewable energy sources like hydroelectric or solar power, glass must be smelted, a process that requires natural gas. This automatically puts glass at a disadvantage on the sustainability front. But it doesn’t end there. An ability to be recycled is also an important consideration. Trubnick says that recycling aluminum is significantly easier than recycling glass. In fact, when you throw a glass wine bottle in the recycling bin, “you’re looking at maybe a third of the glass in your glass bottle being recycled,” she says. And that’s if those bottles are even recycled in the first place. As of 2018, the EPA found that less than 40 percent of glass wine and liquor bottles made it into the recycling bin. Considering that bottles are so heavy, some consumers don’t even bother hauling them to the bin. Cans and cardboard boxes, on the other hand, are easier to smash and break down, respectively, making them simpler for consumers to dispose of properly.

Here at Skolnik Industries, you will love the environmental benefits when you use our stainless-steel wine barrels. Note that our stainless-steel wine barrels are durable, reusable, easy to clean, and 100% recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

2022 Steel Outlook: Growing Demand & Higher Prices

April 26th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

Steel is always a hot commodity in the global market, but the demand for steel has increased by record amounts over the past two years, and shortages are causing market issues. Many buyers have expressed their concern about having enough steel for production needs in 2022.

The current shortages are due to supply chain issues that have impacted steel inventory, increasing demand. As a result of the spread of COVID-19 over the past two years, mill outages and transportation blockages have also led to a steel shortage.

The World Steel Association (WSA) reports a projected growth in the demand for steel in 2022, so demand will continue to increase. According to this forecast the growth assumes vaccinations will continue worldwide, which will halt the spread of new COVID variants, so the virus should be less damaging to the global market.

The backlogged demand for steel has also led to strong manufacturing activity, which has helped the steel market. Developed countries worldwide have outperformed the WSA’s expectations due to the high number of vaccinated individuals and government support. However, while the manufacturing side has been doing well, supply chain shortages are still disrupting the global steel market and are preventing a strong recovery in 2022. Due to the backlogged steel orders, the demand will remain high through the next year. Because of the demand for the limited inventory available, steel prices will continue to go up in 2022. The mill shutdowns caused shortages, but they also gave steelmakers time to bring new plants into service and negotiate higher prices for returning customers.

Increased business and consumer spending habits have driven up the demand for steel-bearing products, which are needed for everything from recreational vehicles to food cans and steel drums. Buyers are willing to pay more for these products and will continue to pay increased prices throughout 2022. Check out the full report from the World Steel Association here.

Golf Courses Need to Use Recycled Water

April 19th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter

Though not a golfer myself, I know many customers and friends love the game and are aware that millions of individuals lack access to clean drinking water around the world. As various industries continue exploiting the natural resource, the global dehydration rate will rise. A significant portion of water misuse comes from the landscaping sector. The aesthetic demands from consumers push landscapers to use large quantities of water, developing plush, green lawns. Environmental changes also cause lawn care professionals to overuse water, depleting local supplies. Golf courses use excessive amounts of fresh water, and greenskeepers can source recycled water to increase their sustainability.

In warm, dry climates, one golf course can use a million gallons of water each day. Researchers predict the necessary golf course water usage will increase as the global evaporation rate rises. As greenhouse gases invade the atmosphere, and earth’s temperature increases, the global water cycle changes.

The overuse of freshwater sources further displaces local supplies, leaving residents, farmers and manufacturers with little water for vital processes. Greenskeepers can decrease resource exploitation by engaging in water reuse. Check out the full report here.

The Case for Oaky Chardonnay

April 12th, 2022 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

The “Anything but Chardonnay” (ABC), movement was a direct response to the late 20th century rise of “showy”, over oaked, high alcohol Chardonnays. Writing in the Wine Enthusiast blog, Matt Kettmann reports: “Two decades later, the ABC sentiment is alive and well, even though the prevailing style today, at least for the wines I review from California’s Central Coast, is tight and racy, driven by fresh citrus flavors and chalky textures. I spend a lot of my time educating the “Anything Buts” about the zippy wonders of these “new” vibrant Chardonnays. Though many express doubts at first, my conversion rate is happily high. All Chardonnay needn’t be made the same, and there remains a seat at my table for rich, oaky Chardonnay, which is still plentiful. To me, their butter scotch drizzled, seared marshmallow, honeysuckle-laden flavors are the embodiment of comfort in your cup. Few white wines go as well with a roaring fire as snow falls outside, or to complement both soft and hard cheeses before or after dinner, or as an accompaniment to roasted chicken: such succulent, herb-infused flesh never knew a better beverage buddy than nutty, caramelized Chardonnay.”

Matt goes on to explain that: “A combination of all the above: richness at the core, fresh on the edges and minerally taut on the frame with an umami kick, is arguably the best formula for Chardonnay, no matter where it’s grown. In fact, some of the richest Chards I’ve ever had come from Burgundy, albeit with the region’s hallmark minerality and acidity in tow.”

Kettmann continues: “There’s also something to say about the wisdom of the crowd. Even more common than the “Anything but Chardonnay” crowd are those lifelong fans of opulently oaked Chardonnay, who proudly proclaim their affinity for benchmark brands such as Rombauer. So, as much as we wine “experts” thrive on discovering the next styles and under the-radar producers, there’s solace to be found in the stability of classic styles like oaky Chardonnay. Nothing comes closer to sipping warm rays of sunshine.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, you will love the classic look of our stainless-steel wine barrels. Note that our stainless-steel wine barrels are durable, reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.