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Reusable packs could diminish corrugated demand

Although the environment is no longer a hot packaging issue in the U.S., global companies must contend with European regulations that target shipping containers and other transport packaging.
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FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy
     

That's why reusable packaging is making major inroads. So says a new study Transportation Packaging & the Environment 1997 just published by Raymond Communications (Riverdale MD). In addition to Germany's stringent requirements on shipping containers 13 other European countries now require recovery of this packaging in some form. This has spurred the use of returnable reusable packaging. It's even fostering interest in standardized crates accessed from crate pools. The report projects this could cut demand for corrugated by as much as 10% over the next five years. While recovery of corrugated is still strong at 45% a weak market in '96 could cause some recycling facilities to close. Some of these points are emphasized through company case histories including three Johnson & Johnson Co. plants that save $500/yr through the use of a reusable gaylord system. Meanwhile depressed prices for other recycled materials have caused problems. Companies trying to recycle stretch wrap are having trouble and Rubbermaid has abandoned its purchases of recycled plastics for both technical and economic reasons. The 112-page report includes sections on environmental labeling regulations international label language and important symbols. Tables of European recycling regulations are included in the appendix along with a resources guide with 120 contacts internationally. The study is $99 for subscribers to Recycling Laws Update $187 for nonsubscribers.

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