Reusable egg crates could help supply chain sustainability

Collapsible, durable packaging could reduce waste in transportation, while helping egg producers and retailers achieve their environmental goals throughout the supply chain.

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Collapsible, durable packaging could reduce waste in transportation, while helping egg producers and retailers achieve their environmental goals throughout the supply chain.

“There are many great benefits for the egg industry if it were to move towards sustainable packaging options, especially when replacing single-use packaging with share and reuse solutions or pooled assets,” explained Candice Herndon, president, IFCO North America.

“Using sustainable and reusable packaging empowers those along the supply chain to eliminate waste and reduce their impact on the environment.”

A growing number of consumers are taking steps to curtail the amount of single-use plastic in their lives because of sustainability and climate change concerns. In a 2019 survey from Innova Market Insights, about half of those surveyed indicated they would pay more for products from companies dedicated to reducing plastic waste.

Collapsible design aids egg transport

Reusable egg crates and packaging can help reduce labor and transportation costs, as well as minimize food waste and product damage during transportation. 

Durable packaging can be used up to 120 times, at which point the crates are recycled and used again. It is designed to go straight from the farm to the point of sale with no unpacking or repacking needed, eliminating shelf-restocking or breakages caused by manual handling. 

In addition, the use of collapsible crates minimizes single-use box breakdown, stacking, baling and removing, resulting in labor savings. Built-in RFID technology allows for traceability and transparency, giving all stakeholders a view into the entire supply chain.

In many cases, durable packaging incorporates seamlessly into the current supply chain process. With designs that are collapsible and compact, reusable crates can reduce the number of trucks needed for shipping.

“When compared to existing non-collapsible plastic crates there are labor, space and transport savings during return and delivery transport,” Herndon added. “This is especially beneficial to egg packers and retailers when the supply chain is facing skyrocketing transportation costs and limited truck availability.”

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