Reducing waste and creating a sustainable operation is now table stakes, as companies feel the pressure from consumers to ease the global plastic waste issue. This pressure has made its way to the supply chain, pushing companies to evaluate their operation down to the packaging used to transport, store and protect their parts and products. Coupled with rising logistics costs, driving efficiency in the primary packaging supply chain is imperative. But with reusable packaging solutions, companies can help resolve both.
Reusable plastic packaging solutions – such as plastic pallets, totes, containers and bulk systems – are optimized for a variety of primary packaging applications in the CPG, and food and beverage industries such as the storage and distribution of preforms, caps and closures. Unlike single-use or limited-use alternatives that are only used once or for a short period of time before being thrown away, reusable plastic packaging provides benefits in the form of waste and cost reductions, transportation efficiencies, space savings and more.
Reduce environmental waste
In eliminating cardboard corrugated packaging and wood pallets, you also eliminate their waste. The long service life of reusable plastic container and pallet solutions reduces negative environmental impacts as they take hundreds of cycles through the supply chain before being recycled. Their recyclability adds to their environmental benefits, as reusables can be recycled and reprocessed into new packaging solutions at the end of their useful life.
Maintain cleanliness in food and beverage production
Maintaining a clean environment, especially in food production, is critical. Unlike fiber corrugated and wood solutions, the all-plastic construction of reusables makes them hygienic and easy to clean. Their solid and smooth design keeps contents clean from debris and does not break down with moisture or harbor contaminants like wood and cardboard solutions do. Their durability ensures impact and moisture resistance, protecting product from being damaged.
Realize space and operational benefits
Manufacturing areas are tight and the need for warehouse space is booming. But with reusable packaging solutions, you can find significant space savings since they nest together for secure stacking at heights greater than corrugated, or for storage when not in use. Additionally, reusable bulk containers can offer a higher cubic capacity to increase the number of parts handled, stored and shipped using fewer containers. Their easy-to-hold handles and sealed edges add to their ergonomic and operational benefits.
Integrate seamlessly with automation
As companies try to meet increased demand, automation will become an even more important tool for scaling their operation as it helps to streamline processes and save on labor costs in a competitive market. With this adoption of more automated processes, the dimensional consistency of reusable packaging allows for seamless integration with both manual and automated material handling equipment. With reusables, you also avoid the dust corrugated fiber solutions generate that can easily interfere and clog automated equipment, leading to downtime.
Reusables present the opportunity for companies to not only optimize their supply chain, but to also do good for the environment. But before implementing a reusable program in your primary packaging operation, you’ll need to ensure your supply chain is a closed loop to realize the full benefits of these solutions. Companies that underestimate the complexity of managing reusable packaging struggle to realize their benefits. That’s why it’s important to work with a trusted partner who can help you evaluate your supply chain to determine the right packaging solutions and manage your assets.