Reusable Packaging Repair or Rebuy? Questions with Answers from Allen Plastic Repair (APR)


How does your company handle storage and shipping? Depending on the task, one-time use containers might be an option, but it’s likely that reusable containers could offer a more sustainable and cost-effective solution. If you’re already using reusable containers or considering it, there’s another question to consider: should you repair them or rebuy them?

Why consider reusable containers?

Long-term thinking about the health of both our planet and budgets has led more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies to establish sustainability mandates, many of which include the use of reusable packaging. Reusable containers offer a long-term, cost-effective solution for hundreds of companies in various industries, including automotive, medical, food and beverage, agriculture and pharmaceutical.

Although reusable containers aren’t right for every company or objective, they have some substantial benefits worth considering. Reusable containers:

  • Can significantly reduce your packaging, freight and storage costs.
  • Are designed to last for years and are more durable than wood or corrugated alternatives.
  • Have a low environmental impact and are completely recyclable.
  • Provide better product protection, are weather-resistant and easier to clean.
  • Are completely customizable to fit your exact needs.

How can I be sure that reusable containers are a good fit for my company before making an initial investment?

The Reusable Packaging Association offers three reusable packaging calculators—an industry economic calculator, “quick” economic calculator and RPC environmental calculator—to help companies determine the feasibility of reusable containers.

How can my company get started using reusable containers?

Like any multiple-use product, reusable containers typically require a greater upfront cost than single-use, disposable containers. They represent an investment. However, APR offers several options for companies interested in moving toward reusable containers:

  • Refurbished reusable containers can be purchased for less than the cost of new and are covered by a 3-year warranty.
  • In the event your reusable containers break or crack, APR’s repair programs offer a permanent fix for a fraction of the cost of buying brand new.
  • For a more short-term solution, APR offers a convenient, low-investment rental program for reusable containers.

What are my options for repairing reusable containers?

APR offers three repair programs:

  •  The plastic weld repair program uses a combination of parts from its stock, plastic welding and other innovative techniques developed over the past 26 years to ensure quality refurbished containers. The company’s safety standards mean that some containers may not be repairable; however, APR holds a 75 percent average rate of return for collapsible container repair over the past 6 years. APR can repair broken base runners, cracked or broken bases and walls, broken hinges and latch covers, and holes.
  • The mix & match repair program involves exactly that: mixing and matching all the parts a customer sends to produce as many good containers as possible per the customer’s specifications. APR’s average return rate for this program is 50 percent, meaning about half of the miscellaneous parts provided will be successfully transformed into usable refurbished containers.
  • The cut & weld repair program began in 2009 as a solution for a major automotive manufacturer. This unique program is now being offered to all customers. Using the program, customers can send APR two broken pallets or container parts, and APR will cut off the broken ends from each part and weld them back together, creating one good pallet or part. This program is an innovative way to further reduce returnable packaging cost and environmental impact at the same time.

How do I know if my containers qualify for the repair program?

APR not only offers bulk container repair, but also plastic tote repair, plastic pallet repair and plastic container part repair, in addition to customer repair programs created to specific customer needs. Contact APR to find out more, or visit their website at

Can plastic pallets also be repaired?

APR repairs all types of plastic pallets.


This article on reusable packaging repair first appeared on May 21, 2013.

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