RPCs Can Help Address China’s $32 Billion Food Waste Challenge, Says IFCO Executive

Reusable plastic containers are sustainable, deliver cost savings to retailers and contribute to global food security

(Shanghai, China)  Christy Zhu, IFCO China Country Manager, took part in a panel discussion  entitled, “The Changing Structure of the Fresh Produce Distribution Chain,” at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Connections: China, held March 26-27 in Shanghai, China.  In her presentation, Ms. Zhu explained to a group of more than 160 fresh produce industry executives and government officials from fifteen countries and regions that IFCO Reusable Plastic Containers (PRCs) have a number of environmental, social and economic advantages.

IFCO, which operates a pool of over 200 million RPCs in 34 countries around the world, is the global leader in reusable packaging solutions.

“With a rapidly expanding global population that will reach nine billion by 2050, we need innovative and responsible solutions to ensure we are able to grow, process and transport an abundant supply of safe, nutritious and affordable food to every corner of the globe,” said Ms. Zhu.  “RPCs are becoming the preferred transportation method for fresh food because they are sustainable, cost-effective and reduce food waste at a time when too much of our food ends up in landfills and not on dinner tables.”

To this point,, Ms Zhu explained that RPCs can contribute to China reducing its food waste, thought to be US $32 billion annually*, by protecting vegetables and fresh fruits from damage during shipping. In addition, IFCO RPCs also offer optimal airflow around produce to allow more rapid cooling and easier, more consistent temperature control, which preserves and protects fresh food better than one-way packaging.

Ms. Zhu also stressed to the Fresh Connect: China attendees that RPCs are environmentally sustainable because they require less energy to transport and clean over their lifetime versus one-way packaging. “IFCO RPCs are an ideal fresh food transportation solution for China and other emerging markets around the world,” concluded Ms. Zhu.


* Liu, G., 2014, “Food Losses and Waste in China: A First Estimate,” OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 66. OECD Publishing.