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New Study Shows IFCO Reusable Plastic Containers Generate 31% Less CO2 Compared to Cardboard Boxes 

Shipping Fresh Produce in RPCs Reduces Environmental Impact Across All Key Categories 

April 20, 2016

Tampa, Florida

IFCO today released the results of a new peer-reviewed life cycle analysis (LCA) study comparing Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) and corrugated cardboard containers used to package and transport fresh produce from farms to retail locations. The results show RPCs are more environmentally-sustainable than corrugated boxes in seven key categories. The study concludes that, for the same produce shipments, RPCs:

• Produce 31% lower CO2 emissions

• Produce 85% less solid waste

• Consume 65% less water

• Require 34% less energy

• Contribute significantly less environmental pollution (72% lower eutrophication, 51% lower ozone depletion and 48% lower acidification)

• Produce 6% less photochemical smog, however differences were not significant enough to make a conclusive comparison

“IFCO has a strong commitment to preserving our natural resources for future generations,” said Daniel Walsh, president, IFCO North America. “These results clearly show RPCs are the intelligent choice of growers, retailers and food processors that share our goal of an environmentally sustainable food production system.”

The LCA study 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 at the School of Packaging at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

During the study, Franklin reviewed the environmental performance factors for RPCs, DRCs and NDCs during use with a varied sample of fresh produce commodities. The study reviewed the entire lifecycle of each packaging system, from raw material extraction to postconsumer disposal.

The study concluded, “In seven out of eight examined environmental indicators (energy demand, global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, water consumption,

acidification, eutrophication, solid waste generation), the IFCO RPCs, as defined by this analysis, provide greater environmental savings for delivering produce in North America than does the use of fiber corrugated containers for these commodities.”

“IFCO evaluates its sustainability performance on an ongoing basis so our customers and their consumers can have the confidence that IFCO RPCs are the best choice when it comes to preserving our planet for future generations through responsible business practices,” concluded Mr. Walsh.

To read the study, click here:


About IFCO

IFCO is the leading global provider of reusable packaging solutions, operating a pool of over 225 million Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) in 37 countries. IFCO RPCs are used primarily to transport fresh products from producers to leading grocery retailers worldwide. IFCO's solutions help retailers and producers reduce costs and increase sales by maximizing efficiency, product protection, sustainability, and safety throughout their supply chains. IFCO is a member of the Brambles family of companies. For more information, visit

About Brambles

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 customers in 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 businesses serving the automotive, aerospace and oil and gas sectors. 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 14,000 people and owns more than 500 million pallets, crates and containers through a network of approximately 850 service centres. For further information, please visit

About Franklin Associates

Franklin Associates 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.

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