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Reusable Plastic  ContainersUsing Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) instead of corrugated boxes can result in substantial environmental benefits for manufacturers, according to a new study released last month by an industry organization specializing in measuring environmental impact.

RPCs are plastic boxes that can be used over and over again to ship fresh produce, perishables such as seafood, and other products. Franklin Associates — a leading consulting company specializing on life cycle analyses and solid waste management — was commissioned by IFCO, a manufacture or RPCs, to consider the environmental benefits of their use. The report was issued June 18.

What Franklin Associates analysts found was that RPCs:

  • Generate 82% less solid waste than corrugated cardboard boxes
  • Consume 92% less water
  • Require 49% less energy
  • Lower ozone depletion by 76%

Safer, Cleaner, Better

For every half-ton of produced shipped in RPCs, growers and retailers save about 13 pounds of solid waste, 700,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy, and 360 gallons of water, according to the report, entitled “Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of RPCs and Display- and Non-Display-Ready Corrugated Containers Used for Fresh Produce Applications”.

The reason RFCs are considered a better choice environmentally over corrugated boxes is because they can be used over and over again, according to Rebe Feraldi, the report’s primary analyst.

“While corrugated containers incorporate recovered fiber and are recycled at higher rates, they must be manufactured and recycled for each produce shipment made in a single-trip container,” Feraldi said. “The steady-state reuse process of delivering produce in RPCs only consumes about 33/1,000ths or the RPC container material per use cycle compare to 100% material manufacturing and recycling required per use with shipments made in single-use fiber containers.”

Are RPCs the Right Choice for Your Business?

Bahrns has a wide variety of different types of RPCs that can be used to ship all kinds of products, from fresh produce to durable goods. Using RPCs is not only better for the environment, but can also be more cost-efficient than using single-use corrugated boxes that need to be recycled and re-manufactured after every use.

The RPCs offered  by Bahrns are made of hard, durable plastic and feature tight-closing lids, making them more resistant to damage during shipping, weather, and chemical or vermin infestation than cardboard. They also are stackable when filled and can save space by being stored nested when not in use.

Easy to clean, affordable, convenient and environmentally-friendly, RPCs offer one of the best shipping container choices regardless of the types of products you send to your customers.


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