Reuse of reusable packaging: a sustainable solution

Sustainable means that something that can be continued without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

That starts with the way we treat this earth: natural resources such as oil and gas are not infinitely available and are gradually running out. Humans are depleting the earth by taking more resources than nature can process, leaving nothing for future generations. In order to keep the living environment livable for our children and grandchildren, we must strive to burden the environment as little as possible. We can therefore no longer ignore sustainable living.

But sustainable does not necessarily mean we have to sacrifice: it means that we have to make different choices. Every new product we buy requires energy and raw materials for production. But why should we keep buying new products if the current ones are still in excellent condition? With a little maintenance and repair, the lifetime of these existing products can be extended considerably.

Disposable pallets

Not only are consumer goods newly produced, the packaging used to transport these goods is also often new. Many production and transport companies choose to use wooden single-use or disposable pallets. These offer a lower carrying capacity and are often not returned by the supplier after use. Despite the fact that these pallets are usually produced from residual wood, the production of these disposable pallets requires energy for production and transport. After delivery of the goods, these pallets remain with the end user and are destroyed as residual waste. A waste of scarce raw materials and energy.


Reusable pallets

A more sustainable packaging option is the reusable pallet. These reusable pallets are of a heavier quality, both in terms of wood types used and production method. They are specially produced to be used several times, a lifespan of at least 5 years is not uncommon. This applies not only to the standard dimensions, but also to all customer-specific size pallets. These sound pallets retain their load-bearing capacity for longer and can be used many times, in contrast to the disposable ones. Naturally, for the production of these reusable pallets sustainable wood with a FSC quality mark will be used, which guarantees a responsible and climate-friendly way of forest management.

Reuse of pallets

Timely maintenance and possible repairs ensure that the quality of this wooden pallet remains optimal, so that the pallet can be used many times during its life. This extension of the lifespan of pallets is a sustainable solution, which not only saves scarce raw materials, but also provides a financial advantage. After all, investments in new packaging become largely superfluous due to the reuse of the pallets that are already in circulation.

Sustainable packaging management

2Return is a specialist in sustainable packaging management. We encourage the reuse of load carriers by means of collecting them from the end user and offering them again to the original user or to a new user. These reusable pallets and boxes are checked by our specialized teams after collection and repaired if necessary. By using as many used parts as possible, repairable pallets are transformed into high-quality load carriers again. The pallets that can not be repaired due to excessive damage are processed in a sustainable way: usable parts are used to restore repairable pallets, the rest is recycled into materials that can be used in other industries, such as chipboard and wood chips. A great saving on new raw materials.

By using an extensive network of transporters and depots in Europe, we are able to keep the number of kilometers driven as low as possible. When choosing the allocation of a depot as the return location, the location of redelivery is taken into account, whereby the amount of transport kilometers is decisive. Restricting transport means major savings on fuel and CO2 emissions. A nice boost for the environment.

Sustainable solution

Together with our customers we try to find a solution for the use of sustainable packaging. We make an inventory of the current packaging used and, based on a business case and calculations, we make a proposal for the possibilities of retrieving and reusing our own packaging. In addition to the possible cost savings, the business case also shows the profit on CO2 emissions. For a smaller ecological footprint and a better planet for future generations.



2Return is member of the Rotom Group