Is it time to cull corrugated packaging?

Photo showing a pile of flattened cardboard boxes being recycled at a large waste recycling plant.


In the grocery industry, the corrugated box is as plentiful as any other product. Every day, thousands of boxes arrive at any given store, and they are then opened, cut apart and unpacked. Some stick around a little longer to hold or display product, but most go right to their final destination — the baler in the back of the store. Baling occurs several times a day at every grocery store across the country, but few grocers really think about the amount of labor that is wasted disposing of the corrugated boxes.

50 steps is how much corrugated packaging affects your business.

Step away from the bigger picture for a minute and focus on a specific store. How many steps is it from the store floor to the baler in your store? 20? 50? 200? And when employees take these steps and make the journey at the end of another un-boxing session, are they able to dispose of the boxes in the baler immediately, or do they have to wait their turn — conversing as they do so? Is the baler another name for the water cooler?  How many associates visit the baler daily?  How much time every day is wasted disposing of corrugated?

These are the expenses of cardboard most grocers don’t realize they’re paying. Combine this wasted time with the costs of maintaining the baler, including removing clogs, repairing equipment and emptying the machine, and the process is far more expensive than it might have seemed originally.

Finding a solution to reduce labor waste

More and more, savvy grocers across the country are realizing that the labor expenses related to handling cardboard are not covered by the credits they receive for recycling the material. Instead of searching for additional efficiencies in their corrugated-handling process, they’re cutting out the corrugated altogether.

Reusable plastic containers (RPCs) offer a more durable shipping container, providing greater product protection, and as an added bonus, these materials never require a trip to the baler. Instead, RPCs can be used to move product from the truck to the store floor, reducing handling and potential damage while also improving stocking times. And when the RPCs are emptied, they are placed on an empty pallet in the backroom, no waiting required. Reusable containers can help you optimize your supply chain and, more importantly, free up time for your associates to focus on your customers.

Reusable containers can help you reduce waste — packaging waste and labor waste. To learn more about RPCs, contact us today.

To calculate real costs and labor savings associated with using Tosca RPCs, click here to use our Impact Calculator.

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