No packaging legislation in Africa

Source: No packaging legislation in Africa – Sunday News Jun 25, 2017

Wilson Dakwa, Business Reporter
AFRICAN countries have no legislation that strictly controls the quality of packaging, making it harder for their companies to export to European markets.

Speaking at the ZimTrade Export Packaging Workshop at a Bulawayo hotel last week, a packaging expert Mr Jacky Charbonnerv said African countries had a task to control their packaging so that they align with some of the international standards.

“African countries have no legislation that directly controls the quality of packaging leaving the market too open to sub-standard products that are not accepted in most European countries. There is a need to provide a framework that controls the quality of packaging to some of the standards required by international markets,” said Mr Charbonnerv

He said although countries like Zimbabwe have some sort of standards provided for by the Standard Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ), they were now outdated.

“Zimbabwe has some standards on packaging but some of the standards are now outdated and need to be updated so that they align with other countries that the country may need to export to,” said Mr Charbonnerv.

He also urged companies to be aware of the packaging products available in the markets.

“It is important that you know the products that you are packaging with and also be able to know the standards required by export target. Other countries require food low certification that you can get from your packaging supplier which can help you in the export market,” Mr Charbonnerv.

He, however, added that some of the standards have to do with consumer friendliness and also environmental friendliness.

Mr Charbonnerv was asked to elaborate on how plastics may cause cancer and he said plastics and food carriers may cause cancer due to exposition to heat.

“I am not well aware of how cancer can be caused by plastics but what I know is that if packaged food is exposed to excessive heat for a long time, its taste will be distorted and this may result in elements of the packaging going into the product. At times it may be because the producers would have used the wrong material for packaging,” he said.

Most companies, especially liquid products manufacturers are now shifting from glass packaging to plastic as plastic battles are easier to reuse and recycle.