The earth is heating up, a fact that no one can deny. In recent years, this seems to be even more apparent with the extreme weather that has resulted in floods and forest fires. The earth has become 1.1 degrees warmer since the pre-1900 period, according to the report of UN climate panel IPCC, and the earth’s temperature is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. That the cause is of human origin was previously highly probable, but is now indisputable. Countering the rise in global temperature is a real choice to make, as a person and as a company!

Sustainability is close to our hearts, which is why we previously wrote about the sustainable management of packaging and the sustainable logistics process in the food industry. It has even been defined as Bexter’s primary goal to use software to encourage the use of reusable packaging in order to promote sustainable operations at other companies. 

Circular economy

The Dutch government wants The Netherlands to be fully circular by 2050. A circular economy entails the following, according to TNO1: “The circular economy is an economic and industrial system that takes the reusability of products and raw materials and the restorative capacity of natural resources as its starting point and minimizes value destruction in the total system and pursues value creation in every link of the system.” In the logistics sector, this would mean that raw materials can be used in a circular way, for example by recycling raw materials or using biodegradable raw materials. The use of reusable packaging is in line with this and should therefore be encouraged. TrackOnline is the online platform that caters to this, according to Toon de Jong, Commercial Director: “TrackOnline is fully developed from the perspective of sustainability, which enables the transition to a circular economy.” 

Waste reduction with reusable packaging

Reusable packaging is part of the packaging of transporting products. A packaging item is like packaging that is used more than once. In addition, it contributes to the reduction of packaging waste, which helps companies meet waste reduction targets set by governments (Livingstone and Sparks, 1994; Kroon and Vrijens, 1995). Reusable packaging also meets the demands of customers, who increasingly demand products that have been produced and/or transported in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner (Vandermerwe and Oliff, 1990; Cotte and Trudel, 2009).

Increase in use of packaging

The need for companies to make more use of reusable packaging to produce less waste, among other things, is in line with future expectations. According to the report “Returnable Transport Packaging (RTP) Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 impact and forcast (2021-2026),” the market value of Returnable Transport Packaging in 2020 is estimated at $7.83 million. In 2026, this market value is expected to increase to $11.04 million. This increase is related to the increase in export and import of goods and the e-commerce industry[1].

Reduce environmental impact with reusable packaging

As we mentioned earlier, the use of reusable packaging reduces the impact on the environment, according to the Packaging Association. In this, they make the breakdown into six categories:

  • Reduced waste; Waste in landfills is reduced by 86% due to the reduction in disposable packaging, as the lifespan of reusable packaging is longer.
  • Reduced CO2 emissions; Due to an increase in reusable packaging, recycling or remanufacturing of disposable packaging becomes unnecessary. Therefore, CO2 emissions decrease by 60%.
  • Lower energy consumption; To produce reusable packaging items, less energy is needed than disposable packaging, namely 64% less. 
  • Less water consumption; During production and recycling and disposal, a lot of water is used in disposable packaging. This is about 80% more than reusable packaging.
  • Less product waste; Reusable packaging offers products more protection, this results in less product damage and product waste.
  • Material recovery and reuse; Reusable packaging is circular, which means it can also be reused to produce new packaging after its useful life2.

“The question is not if, but when to switch to a different type of asset”.

Serge van Helvoirt, Manager Business Development

The Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations

Not only governments set goals to improve sustainability, but the United Nations has also established no less than 17 goals. Recently, the United Nations published the SDG report, in which SDG stands for Sustainable Development Goals. It contains 17 goals that were created to reduce poverty, inequality and climate change. Two of these goals contribute to sustainability, namely goal 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure and goal 12: responsible consumption and production. 

The online packaging registration platform TrackOnline contributes directly to the realization of these goals, according to Serge van Helvoirt, Manager Business Development at Bexter. Some industry specialists state that efficient packaging management is the most vital link for sustainable logistics. Those specialists also expect that a sustainable business approach will soon be mandatory. Van Helvoirt agrees: ‘The question is not if, but when to switch to a different type of asset. Due to the scarcity of wood, mandatory global guidelines and the emerging global interference of governments, we are on the threshold of major changes. There is a multitude of companies focused on developing sustainable assets. With this innovation shift in mind, it will become more important to be able to track and manage all assets in a pool. Indeed, there will be a higher value placed on one asset’. The asset is no longer a financial detail but becomes a square meter of real estate, so to speak. An intelligent platform that not only carries cargo but can also tell a lot about the cargo. So states Van Helvoirt.

That the use of reusable packaging is demonstrably better for the environment is undeniable. To stimulate its use, good management is necessary. This is possible with TrackOnline. Contribute to the sustainability of our planet and leave the one-way packaging aside and opt for reusable packaging. Contact Serge van Helvoirt to discuss the possibilities for your company.  Or get started with TrackOnline free of charge for 30 days!

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