With many businesses looking to become more green and help save the earth, we sat down with PPS Equipment Managing Director Joanne Moss to discuss what her returnable transit packaging company are doing to be environmentally-friendly.
Talk about your company, its development
For over a decade, PPS (Plastic Packaging Solutions) has provided returnable plastic and container solutions. Our aim is to reduce the levels of ‘one trip’ packaging used within the logistics industry through hygienic equipment washing and therefore a business’ sustainability.
Originally PPS Midlands was set up as a plastic pooling business in 2002. However, as our product range increased to include tote boxes, pall boxes, bale-arm trays, roll cages and removable crates, we decided to expand into rental and hygienic washing of our equipment.
These reusable crates are used for transporting fresh produce in an attempt to replace environmentally harmful containers such as cardboard boxes and expanded polystyrene. These crates are then recollected and hygienically restored meet standards; reducing a business carbon footprint whilst also being cost-effective. Aside from produce our packaging is also used for office moves, removals and within the automotive industry.
Why did you look at becoming green and how did you implement this?
In today’s society the demand for environmental awareness has never been higher; PPS recognised this and moved towards more sustainable alternatives through returnable transit packaging (RTP).
Unfortunately, a large quantity of food and retail manufacturers still rely on ‘one trip’ packaging for product distribution, meaning it is disposed of after a single journey at a cost; this creates unnecessary waste and increases carbon emissions from production and transportation, for example – for business who are regularly involved in closed loop transportation from a manufacturing facility or supplier to warehouses or processors, using RTP will reduce the depletion of resources.
What benefits does this result in for your business?
The use of our RTP has seen sufficient reductions in carbon emissions. Previously we conducted an experiment which involved selecting two single use packaging products (a cardboard box and expanded polystyrene) against returnable products (a plastic crate and fish box) to highlight the benefits of using plastic crates over cardboard/polystyrene. The report signified the carbo emissions that occur throughout the product lifecycle from the manufacturing process and once it’s recycled. The 20kg crates in comparison to cardboard resulted in savings of 52% and 89% against polystyrene in carbo emissions.
RTP is also cost effective. Over the years we have gained experience in helping our customers change from single use cardboard boxes to returnable plastic crates. We have discovered that this will provide a cost saving of approximately 30%.For example – one of our customers was a UK meat producer who dispatched 12,000 cardboard per week. PPS’ returnable crates decreased costs by approximately 35% for this business. By changing to the PPS returnable crate the processor reduced his packaging costs by over £150,000.
These findings represent show that plastic crates are cost effective, durable and are eco-friendly compared to single use packaging.
What advice would you offer other companies looking to go green?
It is time all businesses moved towards greener futures. The first step should involve mapping your company’s overall environmental impact to determine areas that require improvement. Researching materials is key for manufacturers; switch to a material you can prove is sustainable but will also maintain product quality standards. Looking into minimising your transportation miles is also essential for reducing carbon emissions.
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