mercredi 10 juillet 2013

Bright future for Reusable Plastic Containers (RPC)?

According to a study initiated by the Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg (SIM) -a German foundation for reusable systems- carried out by Fraunhofer Institute and the University of Bonn, throughout the whole supply chain for fresh fruit and vegetables from the producer to the retail, around 4 percent of all disposable packaging was damaged, while this figure was just 0.1 percent for reusable packaging.

In the course of the study, more than 78,000 packaging units for transport were inspected at central warehouses and retailers, including 52 percent reusable and 48 percent single trip.

The study determined that if only reusable containers were used in the German market, only 1,100 tonnes of fruit and vegetables valued at two million Euro would have been lost. It was estimated that if only single trip packaging had been used, the lost product would translate to 36,000 tonnes valued at 68 million Euro.

Extrapolating from these figures to the Spanish global exports of fresh fruits and vegetables, more than 1,800 million euros could be saved when using just reusable crates and containers.

The European Commission estimates that approximately 89 million tonnes of food are wasted every year in Europe, with Germany on top of the ranking, with 10.7 million tonnes of wastage and Spain in sixth place, with 7.7 million. Although most of the wastage happens at the end of the food supply chain (retailers and consumers), there are also losses in the production and distribution chain, which is the one under scrutiny in this report.

The UK's leading fresh fruit and vegetable supplier to the restaurant and catering industry has implemented a reusable transit packaging (RTP) crate scheme with Schoeller Allibert, to reduce waste and keep produce fresh. Reynolds estimates that, as a result, over the last year it has sent out 750,000 fewer cardboard and wooden boxes to customers and saved hundreds of tonnes of cardboard and paper.

Reynolds took the decision to move away from single trip cardboard packaging to a returnable crate scheme with Schoeller Allibert. So far, over 1,000 customers have switched to deliveries with the Maxinest crates, which have an average lifetime Product Carbon Footprint of just 26 kgCO2e for each crate, 68% less than cardboard.

Over recent months the company has seen added interest from fish merchants, suppliers and processors who are looking to purchase from PPS East various reusable containers, including plastic boxes, pans, defrosting crates and pallets for internal factory use. For storage and transportation of product to customers, orders are being placed for fish fillet trays, salmon and whole fish boxes, bale-arm crates, baskets, tubs and bins.

Traditionally, PPS East has supplied boxes for the Humber fish auction markets and also rents reusable plastic packaging for fresh fish suppliers in the UK and Europe. The company says that since the recent launch of its direct sales division revenue has increased and as a result, PPS East is now stocking at it Grimsby site a comprehensive range of fish box sizes (6kg, 10kg, 15kg, 25kg, 40kg & 50kg) for direct sales to customers. The company can also source most types of plastic containers as required, along with plastic pallets, wheeled dollies, insulated bins, pallet boxes, dolavs, etc

IFCO SYSTEMS, the global leader in Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for fresh products, today released a study confirming RPCs as a sustainable packaging option. The report shows the IFCO solution generates 82% less solid waste, consumes 92% less water, requires 49% lower energy demand, and lowers ozone depletion by 76% for a weighted average of 10 top produce commodities compared with shipping the same amount of produce in display-ready corrugated boxes. The report was produced by Franklin Associates, a Division of ERG, a leading consulting company specializing in life cycle analyses and solid waste management. 

Last summer (June 2012), Safeway has transitioned to using reusable product containers (RPCs), rather than corrugated boxes, to ship many types of produce from the farm fields, through the distribution channel and to final store destination. This transition eliminated the use of over 17 million pounds of corrugated boxes, , reduced CO2 by 37,518 tonnes, avoided harvest of 114,000 trees.

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