New Study Confirms IFCO Reusable Plastic Containers are the Sustainable Choice for Fresh Produce Packaging 



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Tampa, Florida – March 16, 2017: IFCO today released the results of its updated report, Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Reusable Plastic Container and Display- and Non-Display-Ready Corrugated Containers Used for Fresh Produce Applications (LCA), showing IFCO Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) deliver greater environmental savings for delivering fresh produce in North America than the use of single-use corrugated fiber containers.

“IFCO has a strong commitment to the environment, and IFCO RPCs have developed a well-deserved reputation as a sustainable option for fresh produce packaging,” said Daniel Walsh, president, IFCO North America. “This study shows that RPCs – across-the-board – are the most sustainable choice for fresh food packaging compared to corrugated boxes.”

The LCA reviewed the environmental impact of RPCs and Display-Ready Corrugated Fiber Containers (DRCs) and Non-Display-Ready Corrugated Fiber Containers (NDCs) for packaging apples, bell peppers, carrots, grapes, iceberg lettuce, onions, oranges, peaches/nectarines, tomatoes and strawberries.

The study concludes, “In all eight examined environmental indicators (energy demand, global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, water consumption, acidification, eutrophication, photochemical smog, solid waste generation), the IFCO RPCs, as defined in this analysis, provide greater environmental savings for delivering produce in North America than does the use of fiber corrugated containers for these commodities.”

The 2017 LCA shows, compared to display-ready corrugated boxes, RPCs:

• Produce 31% less global warming potential (carbon dioxide equivalents)

• Produce 86% less solid waste

• Consume 80% less water

• Require 64% less energy

• Contribute significantly less environmental pollution (85% lower eutrophication, 78% lower ozone depletion, 66% lower acidification, and 42% less photochemical smog)

The LCA released today is an update to the IFCO/Franklin Associates LCA released in April 2016. Key modeling data – including the recycled content for corrugated boxes used for fresh produce packaging – were evaluated and updated as appropriate to ensure the 2017 LCA was based on current and up-to-date information.

The LCA was conducted by Franklin Associates (Franklin), a nationally-recognized life cycle assessment and solid waste management consulting firm, in accordance with ISO standards 14040 and 14044. Franklin looked at the sustainable attributes of RPCs, display-ready corrugated fiber containers (DRCs) and non-display-ready corrugated fiber containers (NDCs) used to package, transport and display fresh produce. Results were peer-reviewed by packaging and LCA experts, including experts from the School of Packaging at Michigan State University, the Center for Sustainable Systems School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, and an LCA consultant who is a former U.S. EPA LCA manager and current editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.

“IFCO’s share and reuse business model is an important part of the drive toward a Circular Economy that results in zero emissions and zero waste. We will continue to advance the sustainability of our products and operations in the months and years ahead so that we can preserve the world’s natural resources for future generations,” concluded Mr. Walsh.

For more information, please contact:

Sean McBride

DSM Strategic Communications

T: 202 309 3050

Hillary Femal

VP - Global Marketing

T: +1 813 463 4124

Additional information

IFCO is the leading global provider of reusable packaging solutions for fresh foods, serving customers in 50+ countries. IFCO operates a pool of over 270 million Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) globally, which are used for over 1.4 billion shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, bread, and other items from suppliers to grocery retailers every year. IFCO RPCs ensure a better fresh food supply chain by protecting freshness and quality and lowering costs, food waste and environmental impact compared to single-use packaging. IFCO is a Brambles Company. For more information visit .

Brambles Limited (ASX:BXB) is a supply-chain logistics company operating primarily through the CHEP and IFCO brands. Brambles enhances performance for customers by helping them transport goods through their supply chains more efficiently, sustainably and safely. The Group's primary activity is the provision of reusable unit-load equipment such as pallets, crates and containers for shared use by multiple participants throughout the supply chain, under a model known as "pooling". Brambles primarily serves the fast-moving consumer goods (e.g. dry food, grocery, and health and personal care), fresh produce, beverage, retail and general manufacturing industries, counting many of the world's best-known brands among its customers. The Group also operates specialist container logistics business serving the automotive sector. Brambles has its headquarters in Sydney, Australia, but operates in more than 60 countries, with its largest operations in North America and Western Europe. Brambles employs more than 14,500 people and owns more than 550 million pallets, crates and containers through a network of more than 850 service centres. For further information, please visit:

Franklin Associates, A Division of ERG has provided Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Solid Waste Management consulting services since it was founded in 1974 by William E. Franklin and Marjorie A. Franklin. We have provided these services to clients in the public and private sectors ever since. Franklin Associates' professional staff is made up of engineers and physical scientists. In 2003, we became Franklin Associates, A Division of ERG (Eastern Research Group). This association provided a great deal of synergy between the two firms, which had worked together for many years. We take pride in providing objective, well documented results and advice to our clients. The many clients who have used our services repeatedly over the years give testimony to our integrity.