South Africa skills up on new global classification system for chemicals and chemical mixtures

South Africa is in the early stages of rolling out the UN Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for the classification and labelling of chemicals and chemical mixtures as part of their National Regulations and Standards. The GHS classification builds on the well established UN Model Transport Regulations, which classify purely on physical safety risks, by also taking into consideration health and environmental hazards, and applies not just to chemicals in transit but also to chemicals in the workplace and at home. The system, which has already been implemented New Zealand and Japan, is currently being rolled out in a number of countries across the globe including the EU Countries and Uruguay. It allows industries to classify chemicals according to a unified set of building blocks to determine the health hazards and environmental hazard levels of the chemicals and mixtures of chemicals in addition to the transport safety standards that should be applied when transporting, or working with them. Prior to the development of the GHS chemical classification regulation for health and environmental hazards existed only in the EU (since 1967). In other countries and regions classification was based on the nine physical safety risk classes specified in the UN Transport Regulations which require chemicals to be packaged and labelled for transport in line with their hazardous nature, i.e. explosive, flammable, corrosive, toxic etc. These were taken up into global air (IATA) and sea (IMDG) regulations, and adopted by many countries in their National road regulations.

“This is still a relatively new system which is evolving through discussions in the UN Committee of Experts and there is a great deal that South Africa still needs to learn about it in terms of application and implementation,” says Liz Anderson, President of the Responsible Packaging Management Association of South Africa (RPMASA). “We have identified a pressing need to educate members of both the public and private sectors on the GHS and as such, through our participation in the UN Committee of Experts for Transport of dangerous goods and the GHS we have been able to arrange for Orange House Partnership (OHP), supported by UNITAR (UN Institute for Training and Research), to come to South Africa to assist with raising awareness of the implementation of the GHS as an essential risk management tool through a series of practical training workshops,” Anderson explained. OHP is a non-profit partnership association of international senior experts in risk assessment and risk management with governmental, academic and private sector backgrounds who volunteer their time to provide scientific expertise, assistance, advice, training and interim management to governmental authorities and the public and private sector, in particular in developing countries and emerging economies.

OHP ran two GHS Training workshops, one in Durban from 10 to 11 March and one in Midrand, Johannesburg from 14 to 15 March where around 140 delegates from both the public and private sectors were given the opportunity to learn about the GHS and to practice classification using the system in practical group sessions. The workshops were provided free of charge to the public sector whilst members of the private sector were charged a marginal fee to offset costs of venue, refreshments, training materials etc.

Included in the panel of trainers was Dr. Herman Koëter, founder and Managing Director of the Brussels based Orange House Partnership. “The aim of the training,” Koëter explains, “is to raise awareness and build capacity in South Africa whilst providing for a common understanding by the public and private sectors of the principles and practical issues for GHS implementation in terms of new legislation that is being phased in.” Dr Steve Vaughan, one of the OHP experts who was also actively involved in drafting policy, regulations and implementation in New Zealand shared that a key factor of their success was through forming a single high level body to co-ordinate and lead the process.

The phasing in of the GHS will affect, amongst others, technical experts responsible for chemical classification, labelling, compiling safety data sheets and registration of certain hazardous and toxic products as well as occupational health officers and officials responsible for risk assessment and communication. It is included in various Departments’ regulations including Transport & Packaging, Labour (the OHS Act), Agriculture, Health, and more recently the DEA for waste classification, although using the system for waste classification remains a controversial subject as according to the International experts it is not possible to accurately determine the constituents of mixed waste, such as found on landfill sites, which could make compliance with these standards near impossible for waste management organisations.

It is still early days for the GHS in South Africa where implementation is fragmented across numerous government departments requiring high level co-operation and coordination to develop and implement a national strategy and implementation plan. This is however only the start of an on-going journey to improve communication of hazards and risks to people in both consumer and industrial chemicals and products. It is hoped that training courses such as these delivered by OHP will open the door to a positive and productive way forward for safer chemical management in our country.

For more information visit the RPMASA website at www.rpmasa.org.za or contact Liz Anderson on 032 815 1018.


Recycling facilities create jobs in the Eastern Cape

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) wishes to congratulate the Intsika Yethu Municipality for opening two recycling facilities in Cofimvaba and Tsomo Town.

Two recycling facilities in Cofimvaba and Tsomo Town were officially opened by Deputy Minister of Water and Environment, Rejoice Mabudafhasi on Monday 28 February 2011. These facilities were established by the Intsika Yethu Municipality as part of the Integrated Waste Management Plan which has set out a programme for promoting waste minimization, recycling and job creation through waste management and reduction of waste to landfill.

The Minister hailed the Intsika Yethu Municipality on the excellent work done, especially for closing the landfill site in Tsomo Town and developing the recycling facility and transfer station whereby 80% of the local waste collected is recycled. The local group of 17 sorters at the site have since been registered as a cooperative with the support of the Chris Hani, Department of Economic Development & Environmental Affairs (DEDEA) office staff.

Lulama Macanda the Senior Manager for Waste Management Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Economic Development & Environmental Affairs also commended the Intsika Yethu Municipality, saying “this is a great example of how small municipalities can take up the challenge of waste management and make it work.” Macanda added, “This municipality should be used as a pilot project to demonstrate a success story in Eastern Cape”.

Steve Kalule, IWMSA Eastern Cape Branch Chairman played an integral part in setting up these recycling facilities by conducting the feasibility studies, and providing inputs into the licensing as well as design for the two facilities.

Buyisa-e-Bag contributed significantly to the infrastructure of the two sites, Shirleigh Strydom, the Chief Executive Officer of Buyisa-e-Bag indicated, “When we first visited the sites there was no infrastructure in place with major faults in the design of the recycling sheds. We provided the construction of site offices and ablution facilities at both sites. Baling machines and scales were also put in place so that the recyclables can be managed professionally.” Strydom added, “We refer to our relationship with Intsika Yethu municipality as a partnership, we pledge to continue our support of these two recycling facilities and the community projects in Intsika Yethu Municipality”.

Mr S.D Plata, Honourable Mayor and Mrs Yolisa Mniki the Community Services Manager for Intsika Yethu Municipality added that the municipality has also started a household contractor’s programme that will create 110 jobs whereby the contractors will distribute and collect black refuse bags in households in the high density residential areas that were previously un-serviced. The long-term objective of the project is to start sorting at source.  The household contractor’s programme is linked to the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP).  According to Mniki, the main challenge with the project is the provision of all the necessary equipment for it to achieve the desired outcome.


IWMSA workshop addresses the topic “The Waste Act – One Year On”

It is a year and a half since the introduction of the Waste Act; the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) recently hosted a workshop in Midrand to debate the issue of “The Waste Act – One Year on”.

“Waste generation continues to expand uninhibited in South Africa and the waste management facilities, both new and existing, are battling to keep up despite significant investment from government in this area,” said Obed Baloyi, Director of Waste Policy and Information Management for the Department of Environmental Affairs and Project Director for the National Waste Management Strategy.

This is one of the issues currently being addressed by the National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) which is in its final phase. The strategy addresses a wide set of targets and objectives to be achieved by both government and industries. It will be the tool by which the objectives of the Waste Act will be achieved over the next five years.

Suzan Oelofse, Chairperson of the Central Branch of the IWMSA elaborates, “The National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No 59 of 2008) came into effect on 1 July 2009 and all previously fragmented legal requirements pertaining to waste management are now consolidated into this law. Within two years from the enactment of the Waste Act, a National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) must be established to guide the implementation of the Act. The NWMS may include targets for waste reduction (Section 6(2)), whilst Section 7 of the Act states that the Minister must set national norms and standards for the classification of waste; planning for and the provision of waste management services; and storage, treatment and disposal of waste, including the planning and operation of waste treatment and disposal facilities.”

What the boom in waste generation highlights is the requirement for effective waste minimisation strategies to address the overflow. It also demonstrates the economic potential of the sector; that there is great scope for increased job creation and GDP in the sector.

“In this regard,” Oelofse explains that, “other national norms and standards to be set in terms of the Act (Section 8) are for minimisation, re-use, recycling and recovery of waste, including the separation of waste at the point of generation; extended producer responsibility; the regionalisation of waste management services and the remediation of contaminated land and soil quality,”

Baloyi outlined what has been achieved to date in terms of new strategies, plans and policies and the lessons that have been learned through this process, both the successes and the challenges. Baloyi also discussed the way forward and the future plans of DEA regarding the Waste Act. The Department’s primary focus has been on policy development up until this point as no comprehensive and acceptable Waste Management Policy existed previously. The issue of waste collection backlogs dating back to 2005 also had to be addressed. Going forward regulations will need to be finalised and then enforced.

Successful implementation of the Act will undoubtedly see significant changes in the way waste is managed in South Africa.  Municipalities, as responsible authorities, will have to get their house in order, address waste service backlog and implement waste reduction strategies as a matter of priority but even more so, the culture of consumerism needs to be changed.  The successful implementation of this Act relies heavily on the involvement and positive contributions of every South African citizen.

The Department is positive about the future of the Waste Act thanks to the implementation of a national framework, a broader approach to planning, commitment from the private sector and leadership on a national level.

For more information on the IWMSA or National Waste Act visit www.iwmsa.co.za


IWMSA e-Waste Collection Day at Cape Gate Mall

The e-Waste Alliance (EWA), together with the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), and the City of Cape Town’s “WasteWise” campaign is delighted to announce its second public e-Waste Collection Drive. This will be taking place at the Cape Gate Mall in Brackenfell on Saturday, 26 March, from 09h00 to 17h00.

The e-Waste Alliance is calling on all households and businesses to bring along and drop off any type of old or used e-waste, while seeing demonstrations about the services, products and projects offered by EWA and its members.

Just PCs, an e-Waste Alliance partner, will be sponsoring a raffle prize of a fully refurbished computer to a lucky participant on the day. In addition “Zibi the Ostrich” the official mascot of WasteWise will be there to help educate young and old about recycling, and how to avoid littering and dumping.

So what exactly is e-Waste? According to Susanne Dittke, e-Waste Alliance Co-ordinator, “It is any unwanted equipment such as computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones, toasters, microwaves, or any other electrical or electronic goods or direct parts thereof. Everything in the home or at the workplace that is driven by electricity, including battery operated toys, falls into this category.”

With the increasing proliferation of new, smaller, and faster electronic technology, and the resultant outdating of existing equipment, electronic waste is now one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world.

Dittke gives the assurance that “Your e-waste will be re-furbished, repaired, re-used or recycled. All materials will be handled according to integrated waste management principles and in the most environmentally safe manner.”

Dittke is passionate about the role of the e-Waste Alliance in creating awareness around e-Waste, and says, “The e-Waste Alliance provides a constructive solution to the problems associated with the disposal of electronic waste. It can often be given a second lease on life by being used elsewhere, or through recovery of special materials and components. It can also lead to the creation of jobs or development of new skills in the community.”

The e-Waste Alliance is a non-profit organisation which helps to coordinate responsible management of the entire electronic waste (e-waste) stream in a one-stop shop format. For more information contact Susanne Dittke on +27 (0) 21 532 0940, or +27 (0) 83 462 6665, email: envirosense@xsinet.co.za or visit www.ewastealliance.co.za or www.iwmsa.co.za


PenBev - Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge

Participants at the Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge event on Sunday 06 March 2011 enjoying the refreshing Coca-Cola beverages sponsored by Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company’s products. For many years PenBev has been committed to sponsoring all the logistics associated with preparing and supplying the beverages to all the participants during the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Lifecycle Week events. Annually a total of 100 000 litres of water, 65 000 litres of Coca-Cola, 82 500 litres of Powerade and 100 tons of ice are sponsored by PenBev at these events.

PenBev keeps Cycle Tour refreshed

Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), local bottler of The Coca-Cola Company’s products, are proud to announce that they will again be the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage partner for this year's Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour taking place on 13 March 2011.

For many years PenBev has been committed to sponsoring all the logistics associated with preparing and supplying the beverages to all the participants not only for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, but also for the Lifecycle Week events that take place in the run-up to the main event. These events include the Cape Argus Lifecycle Expo (10-12 March), the Cape Argus Pick n Pay MTB Challenge on 05 and 06 March, the Columbia Grape Escape on 04 to 06 March and the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Tricycle and Junior Tour on 12 March. Annually a total of 100 000 litres of water, 65 000 litres of Coca-Cola, 82 500 litres of Powerade and 100 tons of ice are sponsored by PenBev at these events.

“We are proud to be associated with the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Lifecycle Week as the funds raised are distributed to the many charities and worthy organisations under the auspices of the Pedal Power Association and the Rotary Club of Claremont,” says Richard Berrill, Sports Asset Manager at PenBev. Berrill confirmed that, “All the non-alcoholic refreshments, logistics and resources involved in getting the refreshments to the participants are sponsored by PenBev,” and explained “PenBev’s team is keen to walk the talk and to refresh both the participants and consumers who attend this event and the events leading up to the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.”

PenBev is actively involved in a number of environmental and educational initiatives to promote an active, healthy lifestyle under the ‘Live for a Difference’ banner which is their commitment to making a positive difference in the communities they serve by redesigning the way they work and live so that sustainability forms part of everything they do.

PenBev is an independent bottling company that holds the rights to manufacture and distribute the products of The Coca-Cola Company within the Western and Northern Cape.

For more information on PenBev and their CSI activities contact Denise Green at PenBev on 021 936 5500 or visit www.penbev.co.za.  For more information on the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour visit www.cycletour.co.za.


Reminder to register for the RPMASA International Transport and Environment Conference 07-09 March 2011

It has been confirmed that His Worship the Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Councillor Obed Mlaba will be opening the Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA)’s second biennial Conference and Exhibition on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the Environment on the evening of 07 March 2011 with a welcome reception at the Durban ICC.

With just over a week to go before the opening of the RPMASA’s second biennial Conference and Exhibition on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and the Environment on 07 March at the ICC in Durban, the Association are calling on interested parties that have not yet registered to attend and/or to exhibit at the event to do so soon to avoid disappointment.

Liz Anderson, President of the RPMASA has indicated, “During the conference we aim to provide delegates with access to international and local experts to share messages of critical importance to those in the packaging and supply chain of chemicals and consumer dangerous goods industries in South Africa as well as globally. This conference is an opportune time for delegates to increase their knowledge of domestic and international regulations, thus avoiding costly mistakes and fines, and saving money. There will also be several opportunities at breaks and while relaxing at the Conference dinner at uShaka Marine World for delegates to learn, explore and exchange ideas while networking with industry leaders, regulators and other hazmat professionals”.

Delegates will also have access to exhibits of the latest technology and regulatory compliance publications, products, and services.

Media interview opportunities in both Johannesburg and Durban are still available prior to the event as well as during the course of the conference. To set up an interview contact Lindi Berrino on 082 720 5147 or lindi@reputationmatters.co.za

To participate in the conference contact Chantelle or Tracey by email conf@rpmasa.org.za or call 032 942 8256/0 or 032 815 1018 or visit the RPMASA website at www.rpmasa.org.za


Over 40 Million Virtual Gifts Sold in 2010 by Mobile Social Entertainment Leader mig33

mig33, the world’s largest mobile-first community, today announced that its members purchased more than 40 million virtual gifts in 2010, with sales more than doubling in several countries during the year’s final six months.

Overall, virtual gift sales at mig33 grew sharply over the course of the year.  During Q1, sales averaged just over 2 million per month; by Q4, that figure had grown to well over 4 million.

mig33 is modeled on successful East Asian social networking services such as Japan’s GREE and China's Tencent QQ, valued at USD$2.5 billion and $43 billion, respectively. However, mig33 differentiates itself by bringing mobile community and entertainment to billions of consumers residing in the emerging, mobile-first markets of Indonesia, India, South Africa, and many others.

“Virtual gifts were a focal point of mig33’s development efforts around social entertainment in 2010, and our efforts there were well-rewarded,” said CEO Steven Goh.  “We continue to customize our offerings, developing to local cultures and tastes, and view gifts as one part of a whole network of entertainment and communications services.  Those are the things that set mig33 apart as we seek to become the QQ for the rest of the mobile-first world.”

The world’s bestselling virtual gifts include the “Big Hug” “Kiss,” and “Best Friend” items.

About mig33

mig33 is the world’s largest mobile-first social entertainment service, connecting over 40 million registered members around the world with chat and entertainment everyday, and hosting a fast-growing virtual economy.  Launched in late 2005, mig33 is backed by Silicon Valley venture firms Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and DCM, GREE Inc. and many others.  For more information, visit www.mig33.com.


RPMASA to host second International Transport and Environment Conference in March 2011

The Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA), in partnership with the City of Durban and the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will be hosting their second biennial Conference and Exhibition regarding the transport of dangerous goods and the environment from 07 to 09 March 2011 at the International Convention Centre in Durban. The theme of the conference will be “Producer Responsibility for safe transportation of chemicals - a value chain approach to protect people and the environment.” All interested parties are invited to register to attend, to sponsor and/or to exhibit at the event where products, services and technologies focusing on innovative concepts and new materials will be showcased. Training courses of key importance to Industry will follow on the 10th and 11th March.

“Millions of tons of industrial and consumer chemicals are transported around the world daily by road, rail, sea and air and as such transport safety and the protection of people and the environment, together with sustainable use of resources and reduced environmental impacts in the manufacturing and transport sectors are key global challenges today,” says Liz Anderson, President of RPMASA. “The conference creates a forum for participants from all over the world to meet, exchange ideas and update on global trends and international legislation in the transport of dangerous goods and products. This will hopefully result in the forging of new alliances enabling the industry to take great strides towards meeting these challenges head on. There is an exciting programme of international and local experts to inform delegates on new regulations, best business practices and ways of improving business effectiveness,” Anderson continues.

RPMASA welcome delegates from around the World as well as South Africa and the SADC countries to attend the conference. Delegates will represent Industry operations and supply chain, research, service providers, environmental consultants, planners, academics and national and provincial government authorities. The conference will kick off with a City Welcome event. Training courses on key topics run by international and local experts will follow the Conference and Exhibition to raise awareness and build capacity on key issues such as the UN GHS which is the new classification for waste, consumer product packaging and regulations, best practice for packaging re-use and the IMDG for exporters.

Conference speakers will include, amongst others, international experts Irfan Rahim, Head of Cargoes and Marine Safety for the International Maritime Organisation in London; Peter MacKay, Managing Editor of the Hazardous Cargo Bulletin (HCB) from London; Dr Jürgen Bruder, Executive Director of the International Confederation of Plastics Packaging Manufacturers, who he represents on the UN Committee of Experts for Transport of Dangerous Goods; Prof Paula Viapiana, Professor of Chemistry at the University of the Republic of Montivideo in Uruguay and Volker Krampe, Corporate Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser for Beiersdorf AG, a major International cosmetics and personal products manufacturer. They will be covering a number of critical topics that are highly relevant in the current industry and environmental arena.

The RPMASA is a Non-Profit Organisation for all in the value chain of chemical packaging; it is part of an international network of similar organisations and Africa’s only Industry representative to the UN Committee of Experts for Transport of Dangerous Goods and GHS.

To participate in the conference or for more information contact Chantelle or Tracey by email conf@rpmasa.org.za or call 032 942 8256/0 or 032 815 1018 or visit the RPMASA website at www.rpmasa.org.za


Experience World Cup Cricket Action in an all new Virtual Cricket Game

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be out there, on the pitch, focusing hard, squinting into the sun with an excited, supportive crowd all around, cheering madly when you hammer the boundaries?

In the run-up to the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, there is an exciting new game offering from mig33 in which you can take on between 1 to 9 players at a time and have your very own taste of the world’s third largest and most viewed sporting event.

With the release of the new migCricket game, mig33 users will be able to experience cricket action virtually alongside this tenth Cricket World Cup from the first match being played.

In migCricket, the objective is to be the best cricket player for your team by scoring the most runs before getting out.  The game is a chat-based cricket card game in which you draw different cards with different cricket outcomes.  Players join the game by paying with mig33 credits. Some cards add scores while others cause the player to ‘get out’.  If you draw a ‘run’ card, the runs are added to your overall score, but if you draw an ‘out’ card – you could even go out for a duck!  To make the game even more interesting, there is also a 3rd Umpire card which exempts a player from going out the following time they draw an ‘out’ card during the game.  The player who stays in the game longest, and scores the most runs, is declared the winner.

If you’ve always dreamed of hitting sixes or scoring a century, here is your virtual opportunity.  You can have a fantastic strike rate if you play your cards right, and imagine the satisfaction of knowing how it feels to be on a winning wicket.

migCricket facilitates this game for millions of users, whether via a mobile download or web access. Go to m.mig33.com or www.mig33.com; and take your chances at becoming a world class, top order batsman whilst playing a great game in a fun, virtual environment.

mig33 is committed to providing the best communication and social entertainment services for all their users.  The migCricket game adds to the impressive stable of existing games in mig33 – including Fashion Show, migWars, Moonbase and ClubWars,. “mig33 is intent on always developing and evolving games and application options for our users that correspond with current global trends and activities, both in the sporting world and other arena’s”, says Mei Lin Ng, VP Marketing and co-founder of mig33. She continues, “Delivering the best in mobile social entertainment services is our entire focus.  We want our users to eagerly anticipate the release of our next new, fun and stimulating games.

About mig33

mig33 is the world’s largest mobile-first social entertainment service, connecting over 40 million registered members around the world with chat and entertainment everyday, and hosting a fast-growing virtual economy.  Launched in late 2005, mig33 is backed by Silicon Valley venture firms Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and DCM, GREE Inc and many others. For more information, visit www.mig33.com