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July/August 2020


IPANA members are planning to meet “virtually” in October via the ZOOM platform.  In order to reduce “ZOOM” fatigue, we will be holding sessions spread over 3 days.  Tuesday, October 6, will kick off with the ISDI membership meeting. On Wednesday, October 7, we will hold the PDI/RIBCA Board and membership meetings as well as a networking event in the late afternoon. The highlight of the week will be a keynote address delivered on Thursday morning by Mr. Ole Rosgaard,  Senior Vice President and Group President, Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services and Global Sustainability at Greif.  IPANA Associate members will meet separately on September 30 and we promise a least one fun activity as we provide an update on IPANA activities and 2021. Each member will receive an invitation to the events and will be asked to register so we know who is coming!   All events are free and your colleagues are encouraged to attend!

In September, IPANA will hold a webinar conducted by The Wicks Group entitled, Navigating PHMSA Field Operations – PHMSA Enforcement and Inspection Process. Initially, this session was to be held at our Spring Conference in Pinehurst.  We have converted this to a virtual format that will be held over two days in one hour sessions on Thursday, September 17 and Tuesday, September 22 at 3:00 p.m. EST.  The sessions will cover the following topics:

  • Legal landscape
  • Inspection and Enforcement Process
  • Guidance and Regulatory Reform
  • Best Practices for Packaging Manufacturers

Please email the IPANA office for additional information and registration.

The Rigid Intermediate Bulk Container Association (RIBCA)  and the Plastic Drum Institute (PDI)  published an impressive 4th technical webinar in July. The Polyethylene Manufacturing and Properties webinar  gives viewers a detailed look into the raw material, polyethylene, which is used to produce plastic drums and IBCs. It takes a close look at high density polyethylene, polyethylene resin manufacturing processes and resin properties such as density, melt index and molecular weight distribution. The professionally recorded webinar was originally given by Paul Griffin, technical lead for large part Blowmolding in North America at LyondellBasell, at Industrial Pack 2019 in Atlanta.

The Industrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI) has published a new technical alert on the use of fusible plugs in steel drums. The alert seeks to clarify confusion over the proper use of overcaps with fusible plugs when packaging initial liquids. The alert reminds users that only plastic overcaps should be used with fusible plugs to ensure the drum will vent during fire situations. You can view the Alert 20-02  by clicking here.


Regulatory Updates

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced an extension of the April 20, 2020 Enforcement Discretion regarding periodic testing. The April notice of enforcement discretion stated PHMSA would not take enforcement action against any company that continued to manufacture a United Nations (UN) performance-oriented packaging conforming to a tested design that is not more than 90 days beyond its periodic retest date. The new notice which expires on October 31, 2020 still allows an extra 90 days to complete periodic testing.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) plans to hold a public meeting called, “The FMCSA 2020 Trucking Safety Summit”, on August 5, 2020. The purpose of the meeting is to solicit information on improving safe operation of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles on the Nation’s roadways. All stakeholders and interested parties are invited to participate as well as Federal and State partners.   The event will be held online using the  GoToWebinar platform. You can click here for more information and to register.  You must register for each session you desire to participate in.

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently evaluating commercially available products that may be helpful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus. The EPA is looking for ways to reduce exposure to the virus on high touch surfaces such as elevator buttons or handrails that are used by many people during a typical day. The EPA is working directly with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), North America’s largest transportation network, evaluating EPA-registered anti-microbial products.  This research is being conducted at the EPA Office of Research and Development’s Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.



In June, legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that addresses reducing plastic waste and increasing recycling.  The bill, named The Plastic Waste Reduction and Recycling Act, directs various federal agencies and offices to take steps to support plastics recycling. A bill summary is  available here. The legislation asks the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy to create a new program to “improve the global competitiveness of the United States plastics recycling industry, ensure U.S. leadership in plastics waste reduction and recycling research, ensure U.S. leadership in national and international standards development, and reduce the harmful effects of plastic waste.”  It also directs the federal government to create a plastic waste reduction plan and develop standards for plastics recycling technologies. The American Chemistry Council issued a statement strongly in support of the bill.


People, Places & Things

This may go down as one of the “only during the pandemic” moments but the airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan is using an autonomous (self-driving) vehicle to aid in cleaning.  In the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, you may see a  Large Area Autonomous Disinfecting (LAAD) vehicle roaming around. The vehicle manufactured by Pratt Miller Mobility surveys the passenger areas spraying them with disinfectant.