Safety is vital when reusing chemical packaging
Importers of chemicals are responsible for ensuring safe warehousing and that the products are classified, packed, marked, documented correctly for shipments to customers. For example, chemicals that react dangerously when they come into contact with each other must be kept separate in packaging, warehousing and transportation.
Easily degradable packaging materials cannot be used for transporting chemicals. The packaging must withstand moving, lifting and conveying. Algol Chemicals is further enhancing its environmental responsibility by experimenting with reusing chemical packages in Finland.
“We deliver chemicals to our customers in UN type-approved packaging. The condition of packaging that is to be reused is inspected regularly, and at the end of their life they are washed before being sent to utilization or for disposal. All of our plastic containers are eventually sent for recycling,” says Kimmo Koskinen, Site Manager for Algol Chemicals at the Port of Turku.
The end users of the chemicals also have a big responsibility for ensuring the success of the cycle when handling reused chemical packaging. To support customers Algol Chemicals offers training for the safe handling of chemicals.
“In principle no additional markings should be made on the packaging, and the labels must not be removed or covered by other labelling, such as address labels. It is vital to know which chemical is stored in each container. In order to ensure the quality and safety of the products, no additional substances should ever be added to the containers, not even water. The equipment used to empty the containers must also be clean. The mixing of different substances can cause unexpected reactions in further use,” says Piia Appelqvist, Product Safety Manager.
Experiences with reusing chemical packaging are being collected by Algol Chemicals at its locations throughout Finland. The lessons learned may then be utilised in other countries in the future as and where possible.