Try the Reusables Cost Comparison Tool designed by the Reusable Packaging Association. The tool was demonstrated this past week at the 2008 “Choose Reusables!” Education Forum sponsored by Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) and StopWaste.org. In just a few minutes, using your own company’s pricing and volume and “dwell time” estimates you can get a rough idea of whether or not it makes sense for your company to invest in reusable shipping containers vs. a one-time use cardboard box.
The cost comparison tool takes a lot of the guesswork out of understanding what costs to include when comparing two types of packaging. It is meant to serve as a directional indicator. It’s a quick and dirty way to know if you should further investigate potential savings from reusables for your company. If your company needs assistance using the tool, contact StopWaste.org to help walk you through the process.
Benefits of Reusables
The main benefits of reusable shipping containers are lower packaging costs, reduced transportation costs* and increased performance. With reusable pallets and recycled plastic boxes companies experience less product damage, reduced injuries due to more ergonomic designs, neater workspace with less debris and an increased sense of pride of employees working in a cleaner environment. Ghirardelli Chocolate also cites decreased contamination and reduced handling as benefits of their reusable packaging. Their employees also liked the new packaging because it reduced the repetitive motion of taping boxes closed and using a box cutter to reopen them. The plastic boxes also allow for a greater pallet density.
*Lower transportation costs (and therefore lower CO2 emissions) occur because plastic is 37% lighter than wood.
By Shana Gillis