Although it might not have been a requirement 10 years ago, good brands today will need to make a genuine commitment to sustainability moving forward, says Trent Overholt, vice president of supply chain solutions for Los Angeles-based Rehrig Pacific Co. The buzzword “sustainability” can have many different applications in the beverage industry including environmental and economic sustainability. According to experts, reusable containers can help companies commit to sustainability on both of these counts.
IFCO Systems, which operates a pool of more than 140 reusable plastic containers (RPCs) globally, reports that RPCs produce approximately 95 percent less waste than corrugated boxes. The Houston-based subsidiary of Sydney-based Brambles Ltd. explains that RPCs require approximately 39 percent less energy on average than corrugated boxes because this energy is allocated throughout its many use cycles. Although both types of packaging are recycled at the end of their life cycles, corrugated boxes often are used only once and then discarded, while RPCs are used more than once, it adds.