Earth Day and Reusables

With Earth Day taking place on April 22, we see many companies and organizations stepping forward to celebrate their efforts towards achieving sustainability goals.

For example, Walmart has posted its Global Responsibility Report, including its top ten achievements, including its top accomplishment, an 80 percent reduction in waste generation. Unfortunately, there seems to be minimal discussion about the role of reusable transport packaging towards this end, in spite of Walmart’s pioneering role in the adoption of RPCs and rental pallets.

Meanwhile, featured in Modern Materials Handling this month, Bob Trebilcock reports on the sustainability efforts of Federated Co-operatives, a Canadian grocery distributor.  CHEP pallets are visible on the magazine cover, in the background and understated, as is usually the case with reusable packaging. However, the story does in part emphasize the importance of reusable rental pallets as well as durable plastic pallets used for downstream delivery.

In the recycling sector, we annually notice several tie-ins to Earth Day. This year, for instance, Sims Recycling Solutions is trying for an electronics recycling world record in Long Beach, California, while Recycle My Cell is using the Earth Day event to link its “Say Goodbye to an Old Friend” cell phone recycling promotion.

I haven’t noticed any Earth Day promotions specifically from the reusable packaging sector, and I’m wondering why that is the case, considering the importance of reusable packaging in helping move businesses closer to Zero Waste targets. If you have any thoughts to share, I welcome your comments.


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