The Rise of Returnable Packaging

The Rise of Returnable Packaging

At the end 2021, we highlighted reusable and returnable packaging as a trend we would see increase in 2022. With most businesses facing supply chain disruption, materials shortages and rising fuel costs, the goal of being more sustainable and eco friendly could easily fall off the radar.

However, reusable packaging could be a solution that helps tackle some of these issues. And can as also benefit the planet and help to meet your own environmental goals too.

Whether you are a small business or an international corporation, there are several ways businesses are approaching reusable and returnable packaging.


Take Away Packaging Goes Reusable

A number of fast-food chains and food and drink companies are looking to trial the use of reusable packaging. For years, their main selling point has been fast and disposable, so these companies have been forced to rethink their output when it comes to packaging. A recent example, discussed in a Packaging Europe article, looks at Coca-Cola’s pledge to make 25% of its beverage packaging refillable or returnable by 2030.

Refillable packaging isn’t new, with many coffee shops offering discounted drink prices when you bring your own travel cup or mug. The pandemic obviously halted much of this initiative but with restrictions easing, this is likely to make a comeback.

Burger King UK has also joined the reusable game, with trials of returnable and reusable packaging options available at select stores. Big Hospitality outlines the details of the scheme and how Burger King has big plans reach 0% single-use plastic by 2025.


Reverse Vending Roll Outreverse vending

Having already been introduced in 11 countries across Europe, Scotland is aiming for a 2023 launch of its own Deposit Return Scheme, which was delayed from summer 2022 due to the pandemic.

The scheme will see retailers operate a return point to make it easy for everyone to do the right thing. Consumers will pay a small deposit when purchasing a drink in a single use container. When they return an empty bottle or can, they get the deposit back.

The reverse vending machines themselves require packaging to handle the returned products. For example, a plastic pallet box has a long lifespan and large capacity – perfect for a system such as this.


The Circular Economy

What is the circular economy? In the words of The Sustainability Institute:

recycle raw materials cropped

A circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. This means materials constantly flow around a ‘closed loop’ system, rather than being used once and then discarded. In the case of plastic, this means simultaneously keeping the value of plastics in the economy, without leakage into the natural environment’.

A product that can work in a circular economy can benefit both the user and the environment. Plastic pallets, for example, have a lifespan of up to 10 years, and they can be reused or recycled into raw materials. This makes plastic pallets a more sustainable option than you might think. Moving forward, The Circular Economy is likely to be a key staple in many businesses’ environmental plans.


Reuse, Return, Repeat

Gartner recently outlined three key considerations to manage packaging shortages in these current times. A key line reads: ‘On the other hand, transport of packaging such as pallets, crates and stretch wrap is often standardized. A switch to reusable packaging could mitigate shortages.’

Our pallets and crates are high quality and long lasting. Now, more than ever, there is a need for these types of long-life, reusable products.

With raw material shortages and increased timber prices, using products like plastic pallets makes sense. We have more than 30,000 plastic pallets in stock. They are exempt from ISPM15 regulations and the majority of our pallets meet the new Plastic Packaging Tax requirements. If you’re not sure what pallet is right for you, just get in touch.


How Can Exporta Support Your Returnable Packaging Needs

Exporta are committed to being a sustainable supplier. We have a number of eco initiatives in place to support a greener supply chain. Our quality plastic pallets, boxes and containers can help support your effort to reuse storage and transport packaging.

View the full range or speak to one of our team on 0800 294 4394.

Exporta Global 18/05/22


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