Changes to the European Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulations that came into force this month highlight the ongoing challenge the UK manufacturing sector is facing in regards to waste management.

It’s encouraging to see ongoing regulatory reform seeking to help manufacturers identify risks posed by waste output, whether it’s commercial, industrial or hazardous.

However, a recent report from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) showed that commercial and industrial waste rose almost six per cent in the three years from 2009-2012, to nearly 48m tonnes.

So it’s hardly surprising that global spend on personal protective equipment (PPE), a legal obligation for UK employers, is in the region of $33.7bn (roughly £23.4bn) globally. The transport, storage and handling of chemical drums in particular pose significant risks to plant and factory workers.

Products currently available are advertised as pH neutral, despite not being so. Having developed a pH neutral solution at NCH Europe, the lab tests have proven where pH neutrality is concerned, not all that glitters is gold.

I would advise that users of pH neutral solutions don’t just read the label, but also check that it is in fact a neutral solution.