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The Kroger Co. And Polymer Logistics Win Reusable Packaging Award

Cleanpal pallet

The Kroger Co., with reusable packaging supplier Polymer Logistics, is the winner of the 2019 Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award, presented by the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA).Kroger Polymer Logistics logos

The Kroger Co. won for its 2018 commercial pilot demonstrating the cost savings and environmental impact reductions as a result of adopting Polymer Logistics’ Cleanpal pallet for the distribution of fresh eggs from a leading supplier to Kroger stores. The innovative pallet design, carrying the reusable plastic containers (RPCs) packed with egg cartons, builds a secure shipping platform that reduces Kroger’s distribution costs by up to 66 percent and removes 6,500 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions from the retailer’s egg supply chain.

Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award logoWeighing up to two-and-a-half times less than traditional pallets, moving up to three times more pallets in truckload deliveries and returns, and enabling 1,000 incremental pounds of egg product per shipment from supplier to warehouse, the Cleanpal pallet is more efficient to handle, reduces transportation costs and provides a safe and secure unit load. The Cleanpal pallet introduces a new interlocking design for nestable stacking in storage and transit, and the pallet interlocks with RPCs for superior stacking stability and ability to eliminate dunnage materials like shrink wrap and corner boards.

“Kroger is committed to Zero Hunger-Zero Waste in everything we touch,” said Joe O’Connor, supply chain process change manager at Kroger. “And this goal has led our drive to expand packaging reuse solutions with pallets and RPCs. The CleanPal pallet and the partnership with Polymer Logistics was a significant leap in our work up and down the supply chain for food to establish a balanced model to benefit our stores, DCs and customers.”

As an industry leader in innovative reusable transport packaging and retail merchandising systems, Polymer Logistics developed the strong, durable, nestable and lightweight Cleanpal pallet to achieve superior performance for perishable commodities like eggs in a rigorous retail supply chain, where product protection, safety and freshness cannot be compromised.

“The Cleanpal pallet is a breakthrough in supermarket distribution platforms,” said Paul Pederson, SVP, food safety, meat and dairy supply chain for Polymer Logistics. “Our focus is to help retailers delight their shoppers with high-impact product presentation and efficient supply chain packaging systems. The Cleanpal pallet combined with RPCs delivers on this goal. We thank Kroger for leading the Cleanpal pallet’s commercial introduction and congratulate them on winning the reusable packaging industry’s most prestigious award.”

Tim Debus, RPA president and CEO, said his organization was thrilled with this year’s entries to the Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award program.

“The submissions received were packed with innovative product designs, reuse approaches and commercial execution,” he said. “Our panel of judges determined that Kroger’s use of the Polymer Logistics Cleanpal pallet presented the most compelling case for both economic and environmental savings. We look forward to honoring their work as this year’s Excellence Award winner.”

Kroger and Polymer Logistics will present their award-winning entry at the RPA Reusable Packaging Learning Center (Upper South Hall No. 7900) at Pack Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24.

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. Submissions are reviewed by an independent panel of judges who are not members of the association.

This year’s judges are: Justin Lehrer, senior program manager, StopWaste; Ben Miyares, president, Packaging Management Institute; Laszlo Horvath, CPL, assistant professor and director, Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design in the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech University; and Rick LeBlanc, editor, PackagingRevolution.net.

RPA is a non-profit trade organization representing and promoting the common business interests of member suppliers and users of reusable packaging products and services. RPA promotes the use and value of reusable transport packaging systems, which offer product quality, economic and environmental benefits to supply chains. 

About the author

Treva Bennett

After 32 years in the newspaper industry, she is enjoying her new career exploring the world of groceries at The Shelby Report.

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