The Financial Value of Reusables – Do RPCs equal Good Business?


It’s easy to understand the environmental benefits of reusable packaging. Reusable plastic containers help remove tons of wasted packaging and product from supply chains every year. There’s no question RPCs are the right choice in terms of sustainability and eco-consciousness.

But are the economic benefits strong enough to consider a packaging change? Are RPCs good for your operation financially? Answering that question may seem a bit more challenging, but it doesn’t have to be.

The big picture and The Financial Value of Reusables

Looking at the big picture, ample research points to significant cost savings when a grocery operator uses RPCs. After studying RPCs’ impact in four grocery stores over a period of several months, found the retailers saved an average of $1,250 in labor costs and $500 in disposal costs. Because the RPCs eliminated the need to unpack shipping containers and hand-stack produce in retail displays, the stores were able to substantially reduce the costs of managing disposable packaging.  (Is this meaningful enough to keep in the article? Ask Sales.)

As compelling as those numbers are, they are general in nature. Each supply chain is as unique as the organization that operates it. What works great for a competitor may not necessarily yield the exact same value for your operation.

How can you drill down to a more detailed view of the cost-savings potential RPCs might have for your operation?

Granular cost comparison

Many factors influence each operator’s supply chain needs and how efficiently their supply chain functions. All those factors also affect how RPCs will function within the supply chain, and the level of value and cost-savings they can — or can’t — deliver. While the value of RPCs will vary from organization to organization, you won’t know exactly how much reusable packaging can benefit your operation until you conduct a detailed comparative cost analysis between RPCs and disposable, one-way packaging.

Tosca is uniquely qualified to help our current and potential customers complete that analysis. Before transitioning a new customer to RPCs, we consider and compare every supply chain factor that can be affected by the use of RPCs — from labor time and materials cost to transportation and shrink – to help them understand the true impact of a packaging change on their supply chain.

A good first step in assessing the financial viability of RPCs is to check out our online calculator. You can take this step yourself, quickly and easily, to understand the shrink and labor impact of using RPCs.


Simply visit our online calculator and answer some questions, such as:

  • The type of supply chain: eggs, poultry, protein or produce
  • The number of stores
  • Annual volume
  • Price/dozen or Price/lb

Answering these questions allows our online calculator to generate a rough estimate of potential cost savings your operation might experience if you switch to RPCs. For a more detailed and customized cost analysis, contact us directly for a free assessment.

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