Hazmat protection

Choices in packaging to protect hazardous goods

Transportation of hazardous solids, liquids and gasses presents a number of risks because hazmat can cause damage to people, property and the environment. Therefore carrying goods by road, air or train must meet strict laws and regulations. So what is a good packaging and what must it conform to?

Hazardous goods: strict regulations
The United Nations (UN) provides strict regulations on the packaging used to transport hazardous goods, particularly when it comes to protection against leakage. The guidelines also state packaging must meet the following criteria:

  • It must safeguard against contamination with its contents
  • It must not have dangerous or harmful compounds within its ingredients
  • Its closure mechanism and seal must be strong and water-tight

When goods are being transported by airplane, packaging must also protect against the drop in atmospheric pressure which can cause containers to implode.

UN certified packaging
The transportation of hazardous goods is only permitted with packaging bearing a UN marking, meaning it has successfully passed a series of dropping and stability tests. The extent of testing is dependent on the packaging group containers fall into. A UN marking is valid for five years and guarantees the safety of packaging for that time.

Determining which packaging to use
Every chemical has a UN-number which determines the type of packaging that is required, and specifies the maximum weight of product that may be contained within it. This number can be found on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) of all solid goods. Because of its composition, CurTec packaging is qualified as type 1H2. The MSDS also indicates which packaging group certain goods are classified under. The image below shows the UN marks and corresponding packaging group:

It is always wise to check legislation for supplementary demands before carrying your goods by water, air, train or road.

Ensuring you comply with hazmat regulations
To ensure your hazardous goods are safely transported, it is important to choose the right packaging. Each year around 54 per cent of hazardous goods ready for shipping are rejected as unsafe during an initial inspection. Read the interview with Maxence Wittebolle of the Belgian Packaging Institute (BVI) 'Four common hazmat violations' to avoid unnecessary risks and costs.

Make sure you comply with hazmat regulation. Would you like to know which packaging is suitable for your hazmat?

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Cisca Breeuwer (Purchasing Manager at Huntsman)

‘Within Huntsman Holland we have high standards for collecting and transporting waste. For our Rotterdam site we need to transport our waste in a safe manner. Therefore we need to be able to rely on a plastic drum which conforms to UN regulations, is of consistent quality and is always available when we need it.’

Cisca Breeuwer (Purchasing Manager at Huntsman)

Maxence Wittebolle (General Manager at BVI)

‘Choosing the right packaging should always depend on the product and the entire logistics path. That is why you should know your requirements and choose a packaging supplier that contributes towards your quality requirements.’

Maxence Wittebolle (General Manager at BVI)

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Battery collection safer, thanks to sauerkraut
Battery collection safer, thanks to sauerkraut

UN certified packaging as a collection vessel for spent batteries was one of Stibat’s main requirements. An additional requirement was that gases could escape from the collection vessel. CurTec applied a piece of historic knowledge: its experience with packaging in the sauerkraut industry.

Learn more