Products of Change


Tue 11 May 2021 | by Michelle Urquhart

Walmart stores get deliveries in reusable containers

Suppliers of fresh fruit and veg to Walmart in the States will deliver their produce to Walmart locations using reusable plastic containers. The reusable plastic containers (RPC) are made by IFCO Systems and will be retrieved after each use and cleaned, washed, sanitised and wrapped before being used again and again. IFCO RPCs are used up to 100 times before being reground into new RPCs. Under the seven-year agreement, IFCO and Walmart will build upon their longstanding collaboration, which launched in 1998 when the two companies joined forces to introduce reusable packaging in the U.S. "IFCO and Walmart share the goal of an efficient, sustainable fresh food supply chain that helps nourish millions of Americans and billions of consumers worldwide," said Dan Martin, outgoing president of IFCO North America. "This agreement is a win for IFCO, a win for Walmart, a win for the environment and a win for millions of grocery shoppers across America." IFCO expects to create U.S.-based manufacturing jobs through the production of new RPCs, as well as the additional staff needed to process millions of new RPCs at expanded IFCO Service Centres. The RPC program will also help drive improvements across the entirety of the fresh food supply chain. For example, efficiencies will be created via standardisation and modularity, as well as significant increases in product shelf life and food waste reduction, which are inherent features of the IFCO RPC programme.