The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) announced not one, but two winners of the 2021 Excellence in Reusable Packaging award program. La Colombe won for their implementation of Schoeller Allibert’s Combo Excelsior Hybrid, a reusable intermediate bulk container (IBC), as supplied and serviced by Black Forest Container Systems for the transport of liquid products from manufacturing to bottling facilities. Thermo King won for its adoption of reusable steel crates, flexible sleeves and pallets, as supplied and serviced by Reusability, for distributing auxiliary power and transport refrigeration units from manufacturing to dealers and original equipment manufacturers.

The award program recognizes commercial achievements with reusable transport packaging in the commercial marketplace. Applications are evaluated by an independent panel of judges and scored based on narration of the reuse opportunity, demonstration of business or economic improvements and quantification of environmental impacts. Both winning submissions this year switched from single-use packaging to reusable products, although in very different market applications.

La Colombe implemented Schoeller Allibert’s Combo Excelsior Hybrid IBCs in 2020 with Black Forest Container Systems as the pooler of the containers to create a closed loop system of reusable packaging with significant business and environmental benefits. The Combo Excelsior Hybrid IBC has an expected lifespan of 15 years. 

Thermo King, a brand of global climate innovator Trane Technologies, replaced single-use wooden crates with a combined reusable packaging solution to help achieve their corporate initiative of zero waste to landfills by 2030 and other environmental objectives.

“With this reusable packaging solution, we have realized nearly $1 million in annual savings on packaging,” says Bruce Day, plant manager for Thermo King’s Hastings, Nebraska manufacturing facility. “Adopting this reusable solution has eliminated the need to landfill packaging after use, reduced labor costs, created a safer environment for team members and improved product protection.” 

About the Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award

The RPA Excellence in Reusable Packaging award recognizes companies and organizations that have developed and implemented innovative and measurable reusable packaging solutions in a business-to-business supply chain. 2021 marks the tenth year for this annual award program. Submissions are reviewed by an independent panel of judges who are not members of the Association. 

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