The case for RTP
04 October 2018
The benefits of returnable transit packaging go far beyond just environmental, says Jim Hardisty, managing director of Goplasticpallets.com.
The plastic debate that has dominated the UK media this last year means that more and more businesses are recognising that they need to significantly reduce their use of single-use plastic and one-trip disposable packaging in favour of multi-use plastic and returnable transit packaging (RTP).
More than 95 manufacturers, retailers and trade associations have now signed the UK Plastics Pact – a pledge which aims to withdraw single-use plastic packaging by 2025 and replace it with plastic packaging that’s 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.
Although the environmental aspect is a strong motivator in convincing businesses to switch from one-trip disposable packaging to RTP, it’s just one of the many benefits.
- Financial – investment into packaging that can be used repeatedly can financially benefit businesses in the medium-long term, favourably impacting on the bottom line. Take a medium duty plastic pallet for example – not only can it last up to 10 times longer than a wooden pallet, when used in an owned pallet pool, over time it can even generate its own revenue. The idea here is to treat your pallets as an asset, not as disposable.
- Improved protection – as returnable transit packaging is inherently designed to be robust and durable to withstand repeated use, naturally it reduces the risk of products getting damaged in transit.
- Hygiene – for the food and pharmaceutical industries in particular, opting for RTP that can be easily washed is essential. Although all of our plastic pallets and boxes can be easily cleaned, our Super Hygienic Pallets and Pallet Boxes have been specifically designed with smooth, sealed surfaces for use in hygienic applications and clean room areas.
- Savings in transport – returnable transit packaging is generally designed to nest, stack, or fold down and therefore will reduce storage and transport space and the associated costs.
- Reduced labour costs – one-trip packaging whether it’s cardboard boxes or corrugated containers demands a lot more manpower than RTP, at both the beginning of its journey, in assembly, and at the end, when its being broken down to be disposed of after use.
- Lower disposal costs – as RTP can be used repeatedly and, in the case of plastic pallets and boxes, reground and recycled to produce new sustainable plastic pallets and boxes at the end of their long working life, disposal costs are minimal. In contrast, the disposal process for one-trip cardboard boxes is constant since after just one use they’re either sent straight off for recycling or end up in landfill.
- Consistency – in automated handling scenarios consistency is key when it comes to RTP. Plastic pallets and boxes are moulded under extreme pressure in highly polished moulds which means they offer 100% size and strength consistency, making them ideal for automated handling systems.
- Tracking – returnable transit packaging can be fitted with a number of tracking devices including RFID and IoT sensors so that customers can easily monitor their goods through the supply chain.
- Bespoke solutions – where customers have very specific materials handling requirements RTP can be very flexible in that tailored solutions are often available. We offer a full range of personalisation services from screen and thermal printing to pallet labelling. Many of our plastic pallets and boxes are available as standard in a range of different colours, but special colours and two-colour combinations are also available for some products, depending on the order quantity.
- Environmental – so, aside from the huge environmental benefit of replacing one-trip disposable packaging with RTP there are many other reasons why more businesses should make the switch.
As the UK’s leading independent supplier with stocks of more than 12,000 plastic pallets and pallet boxes and 5,000 small containers we take our environmental commitment very seriously. We are an Accredited Exporter of plastic waste, meaning we can help businesses that have plastic pallets or boxes they no longer need by returning them to the factory, where the plastic will be reground and reused in our products – ensuring they are recycled in a sustainable way.