Reusable packaging products are manufactured in plastic, wood, steel or other durable material and are specifically designed for multiple uses. It should go without saying, but such packaging offers myriad economic, social, and environmental benefits over one-time packaging at all levels of the supply chain. From a business standpoint, it is not only an ecological choice. There are various benefits that can improve the overall success of your company.
What the RPA Has to Say
What makes packaging actually reusable is not obvious, however. If you, as a business owner, wants to have all the benefits of such packaging, it is important to obey the definition of said packaging. The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) has a whole slew of information regarding what “reusable” actually entails. In fact, transport packaging must meet four requirements to be considered “reusable” by the RPA:
- The selected reusable packaging is reused for the same/similar application
- The packaging must be able to meet the original design requirements for three consecutive uses (i.e. two reuses).
- During its useful life, the packaging is repeatedly recovered, inspected, repaired, and reissued into the supply chain for reuse.
- There is an existing process for recycling and/or reuse of the packaging at end-of-life.
Reusable packaging and recyclable packaging are not the same thing. Technically, something can be recyclable after only one use, but the whole point of it being reusable is to diminish even the minimal amount of waste produced through the use of “recyclable” materials. Everything from how your product is transported to what kind of container houses it can be taken into consideration when making the move toward reusable packaging.
The Many Benefits of Reusable Packaging
There are any number of benefits with this form of packaging, and they are not limited to the environment. Your business will thank you as well:
- Decreases packaging costs overall
- Rapid return on investment (ROI)
- Reduces costly product damage
- Reduces labor costs
- More efficient use of space
- Reduces the cost-per-trip (product transport) by improving transportation efficiency through standardized loads. This results in fewer trips, and therefore reduced fuel costs.
- Recyclable: Many customers and clients look to give business and do business with more environmentally conscious companies
- Improves workplace safety
- Improves workplace efficiency
- Improvements in workplace safety and efficiency have a positive effect on morale
Environmental: Now, these benefits go without saying, but reusable packaging…
- Prevents waste from entering the solid waste stream
- Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
- Requires less energy
- Reduces consumption of natural resources