Identified solutions address the #1 quality complaint with reusable plastic containers
Paul Pederson, VP of Protein & Dairy Supply Chain and Food Safety for Polymer Logistics and Chairman of the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) Food & Beverage Committee presented new standards for RPC labels to material management and supply chain executives at last week’s ProMat 2017.
“Non-compliant labels have historically been the #1 quality complaint with RPCs,” said Pederson. “Over 17% of defects and 66% of rewash/rework is label related. Eliminating incompatible labels will immediately improve the quality and efficiency of RPCs, further strengthening their performance as the sustainable transport solution.”
There are over 846 label manufacturers in the US and thousands of possible label and adhesive combinations. Key factors considered in establishing the standard for RPCs included: 90%+ label wash-off rate through wash machines, no remaining residue after wash, consistent performance in wet, dry, and dual wet/dry environments, and no damage to the RPC. Seven products were identified that meet these performance requirements and have been proven successful through the supply chain with multiple commodities following the RPA Guidelines and Best Practices for the Safe Use of Returnable Containers in Food Supply Chains.
It is anticipated that the approved list of products will expand over time. Additional suppliers have already begun to innovate to meet these performance requirements. “Standardization is the key to innovation and massive improvement in quality,” said Pederson. “We encourage suppliers to bring forward new solutions for vetting through the supply chain of industry RPC suppliers.”
“The RPA spurs innovation through best practices, industry standards and technology awareness,” said Tim Debus, President & CEO of the Reusable Packaging Association. “The RPC label and adhesive standards reflect the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement and quality, and demonstrates how RPA members can achieve a common objective for the greater good of the industry.”
RPC user and retailer support for the new standard is growing quickly. The Label & Adhesive Specification document is available to all label providers. “Just let your label supplier know that you require labels that comply with the RPC industry standard,” said Pederson. The document will also be available at reusables.org.
RPA is a non-profit trade organization representing and promoting the common business interests of member suppliers and users of reusable packaging products and services. RPA promotes the use and value of reusable transport packaging systems, which offer product quality, economic and environmental benefits to supply chains.
Source: Polymer Logistics