In the pooling system, IFCO Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) can be used hundreds of times. Yet a sticking point often remains: the wrong kind of label, or in the wrong placement. When you use approved labels and place them properly, they stay in place and are efficiently removed during our wash process – which benefits everyone.
When using RPCs or single use packaging, labels are required to ensure fresh supply chain efficiency and product traceability. So the last thing anyone wants is for a freshly washed and sanitized RPC to arrive at the grower or the retailer with labels that have not been removed.
For many years, labels have promoted operational efficiency for retailers, and their role continues to evolve as priorities change. Most recently, the growing urgency for rapid and accurate product traceability has brought label standardization under the spotlight. For RPCs, however, labels not only require specific information; labels must also meet the needs of growers and retailers in harsh supply chain environments and be made with water-soluble adhesives that release when washed in an IFCO wash system.
Complete removal of labels gives a positive first impression of returnable plastic containers. For this reason, it is essential to follow the RPC label best practices listed below. By following the best practices, labels are efficiently removed, which enables the reuse of the RPCs. In the fresh produce supply chain in support of the industries push for sustainability.
The perfect label is ultimately one which will meet the requirements for every link in the supply chain. The label should consistently perform in cool, wet, and hot environments and maintain its integrity so the information listed can be read or scanned. Then, after the RPC has been emptied, collapsed and returned to IFCO, it is efficiently washed off through our validated wash process.
Supply chain participants can help in a few easy steps. These actions include choosing the right label from the list of approved vendors, placing labels in the correct location on the RPC, using only the approved label size and not adding extra, non-compliant labels as product makes its way through the supply chain.