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Will Using RPCs Increase My Water Usage?

Posted by IFCO Systems
August 13, 2015

During times of drought, the agriculture industry is often on high alert concerning our water usage. And right now, with a serious drought plaguing the state of California, the spotlight is on the agriculture industry in a significant way. Many of you are likely concerned and looking for any way to conserve and recycle water and reduce your impact.

Grower/Shippers and retailers that utilize reusable plastic containers (RPCs) may find themselves concerned with the amount of water it takes to wash and reuse the crates for every use. Well, we have good news when it comes to RPCs and water usage: IFCO RPC systems consume 92% less water than corrugated box systems.

Even though RPCs are washed and sanitized after every use, state-of-the-art wash centers utilize water recycling technology to reduce water use by over 33% during wash. It takes a lot more water to support the production of new cardboard boxes, as well as to recycle cardboard (which must be done much more frequently than reusable plastic.)

There are other ways RPCs have been proven to reduce environmental impact significantly.

IFCO RPCs Produce 82% Less Solid Waste because…

• The burdens for production of RPCs are allocated over a (large) number of useful lives

• RPCs in the pooling system are recycled when they are removed from service

• Losses of RPCs from the closed-loop system are smaller

• Corrugated boxes make only one trip before they are recycled or disposed

IFCO RPC Systems Require 49% Less Energy because…

The benefits of our RPC solutions more than offset the benefits of lighter container weight and the high recycling rate for corrugated containers. As a result, average energy consumption for IFCO RPCs is 49% lower than for corresponding cardboard boxes.

RPC Systems Lower Ozone Depletion by 76% because…

For cardboard boxes, the bulk of these impacts occur during production of the container (regardless of recycled content). For RPCs, these impacts are primarily the result of diesel use in the distribution of RPCs. However, the amount of ozone-depleting substances released by RPC systems is 76% lower than for corresponding cardboard boxes.

If you’re interested in learning more facts about the benefits of RPCs, download our guide: Debunking Myths about RPCs.

Debunking Myths About RPCs


Topics: Sustainability