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Leveraging Partnerships to Prevent Supply Chain Waste. Justin Lehrer CRRA Annual Conference August 4, 2009. Origin of Campaign. Top 5 Materials From Businesses Going To Landfills Food waste Recyclable Paper Plastic Film Pallets & Unpainted Wood Uncoated Cardboard.

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Leveraging Partnerships to

Prevent Supply Chain Waste

Justin Lehrer

CRRA Annual Conference

August 4, 2009


Origin of Campaign

  • Top 5 Materials From Businesses Going To Landfills
  • Food waste
  • Recyclable Paper
  • Plastic Film
  • Pallets & Unpainted Wood
  • Uncoated Cardboard
reusable packaging defined
Reusable Packaging: Defined
  • Products: Reusable pallets, hand-held containers, bulk containers, racks
  • Made of: Plastic, wood, metal and others
  • Services: Pooling, logistics, cleaning and asset tracking

Bulk Containers

Reusable Pallets

Hand-Held Containers


Benefits to Customers

  • Reduce costs (waste & materials)
  • Improve efficiency
  • Improve worker safety/ergonomics
  • Improve Product protection
  • Longer useful life of packaging
  • Lasting operational change
  • Corporate citizenship & sustainability
use reusables campaign
Use Reusables Campaign

Increase business adoption:

    • The value of switching to reusable pallets and containers
    • Provide technical assistance
    • Drive Bay Area businesses to suppliers of these products
  • Partner/alliance with RPA
reusable packaging association
Reusable Packaging Association

A collaboration between supply chain partners who promote the value of reusable transport packaging across all industries as the preferred packaging solution.

  • Advocates the growth of reusable pallets and containers, regardless of material, in North America
  • Promotes the economic, environmental and safety benefits created by re-use;
  • Initiatives include legislative and regulatory actions; strategic alliances; standards, guidelines, and best practices; education and public awareness
our opportunity challenge
Our Opportunity & Challenge
  • Reusables are in early stages of adoption in many US industries
  • Potential impact is large and lasting
  • But complex system change requires time
  • Deciding factor is usually cost
target industries
Target Industries

Alameda County - greatest opportunities:

  • Wholesale/Retail (non food)
  • Manufacturing & Assembly (non food)
  • Food Production
  • Food Delivery
  • Scientific/Technical/Education
  • Medical Care
outreach activities
Outreach Activities


Outreach Activities:

Printed Collateral



PR Efforts

Direct Mail

Print Ads


Local Awards



Target Audience:

Wholesale/Retail (non food)

Manufacturing & Assembly (non food)

Food Production

Food Delivery


Medical Care

Viable Prospects


Appropriate “Resuables” suppliers and vendors

www usereusables com
  • Reusables Basics
  • Interactive Cost Comparison Calculator
  • Workshop Calendar
  • Additional Resources
  • 6 completed

>130 organizations participated

  • Now working with external agencies to co-host
  • High level of interest from businesses as well as public agencies
    • Are “reusables” right for your organization?
    • Analyze the ROI – does it save money?
    • Benefits for making the switch
    • Case Studies (including local)

Case Study:

Greenville Utilities


Storage of nuts, bolts, regulators and meters

  • Results:
  • Substantial time & money savings
  • No interruption of operations or product damage during natural disasters
  • Material protection
  • Secure stackability

Case Study:

StopWaste.Org Office Move


Move into newly renovated 14,000 sq. ft. building

  • Results:
  • Prevented cardboard waste
  • Eliminated heavy lifting
  • Reduced plastic film waste
  • Increased moving truck capacity by 40%-50%
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions
  • Cost competitive

What’s Next

  • Increase Reusables adoption
    • Work with attendees to make the switch
    • Host more workshops, expand content
  • Extend the campaign regionally and beyond
    • EPA Funding
    • Partner with municipalities
      • Host a workshop / Suggest a venue
      • Promote to local businesses


marketing tactics
Marketing Tactics

Role of the StopWaste Partnership:

  • Serve as an initial, neutral contact for companies (prospects) trying to learn more about their options.
  • Assist all prospects with a preliminary (simple) evaluation.
  • Provide selective, targeted technical assistance to potential StopWaste Partnership clients, that might include:
    • Lead referrals.
    • Limited financial incentives.
    • Case study development.
    • Cost benefit analysis in some cases
    • Conducting onsite workshops and meetings.
marketing tactics18
Marketing Tactics

Role of the StopWaste Partnership

  • Refer the prospects to appropriate reusable manufacturers, consultants, etc.
  • Follow-up over the subsequent 24 months to monitor the progress and give further assistance if they are stuck.
understanding the opportunity
Understanding the Opportunity

Closed Loop Systems

Open Loop Systems


Challenges with Returnables

  • Potential challenges to open pool RPC use:
    • Limited network of participating retailers
    • Product rejections at retail level – asset tracking
    • Pool management
      • Inventory turns
      • Pool accountability
      • Cooperating network
    • Freight cost implications, especially on asset collection
    • Seasonality of industry (e.g. Produce)
rpcc corporate members
RPCC Corporate Members
  • Avery Dennison User Advisors
  • Bruel * DUDA Farm Fresh Foods
  • CHEP * East Coast Seafood
  • Georgia-Pacific * John Deere
  • IFCO Systems * NACCO Material Handling
  • iGPS * Nestle Waters
  • IPL Products Ltd. * Seald Sweet
  • Kennedy Group * Tanimura & Antle
  • MACRO Plastics * Virginia Tech
  • Norseman Plastics * Wal*Mart Stores, Inc.
  • Numafa
  • ORBIS Corporation Cumulative Revenue (est.)
  • Otto Environmental Systems > $2 billion - RPCC-related
  • Polymer Logistics > $5 billion – N. American
  • Rehrig Pacific Company > $25 billion – global sales
  • Schoeller Arca Systems
  • TOSCA Ltd.
  • TriEnda

What to Look For

  • Velocity: How many uses will one container make each year
    • More uses, the cost per use for the capital goes down
  • Consistency: The more steady the shipment pattern, the easier and cheaper to set up a reusable pool
  • How controlled is the supply chain:
    • How many different supply chain partners able to use returnable
    • Where are they located
    • Will they cooperate
  • How are you getting them back: What are the reverse logistics costs
  • Volume: Is there sufficient volume to make it worthwhile

Environmental Benefits

  • Life Cycle Study* validates environmental impact of reusables:
  • Require 39% less energy
  • Produce 95% less total solid waste
  • Generate 29% less total GHG emissions
  • *Franklin October 2004 study: life cycle inventory of Reusable Plastic Container and Display-ready Corrugated Containers used for Fresh Produce Applications.

When Should Reusable Packaging Be Considered?

A systematic, well-planned reusable packaging program makes sense for many types of applications, particularly those with the following:

  • High volumes of solid waste
  • Recurring product damage or risk of damage
  • Expensive expendable packaging or recurring single-use packaging costs
  • Under-utilized trailer space in transportation
  • Inefficient storage/warehouse space
  • Worker safety or ergonomic issues
  • Significant need for cleanliness/hygiene
  • Need for unitization
  • Multiple component parts or complicated assembly operations
  • Frequent trips