Case study analyses
Assessing impacts in the supply chain of substituting corrugated cardboard packaging with reusable alternatives
On behalf of The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), Deloitte has conducted a study to examine the potential impact of replacing corrugated cardboard with reusable packaging, focusing on logistics aspects, such as transport and storage, as well as environmental impact. The analysis builds on two case studies related to grouped packaging for biscuits and heavy furniture kits.
Conclusions and key take-aways
The two case studies highlight the many important impacts that would take place should regulation force the market to shift from corrugated cardboard to reusable crates.
These consequences include:
increased transport costs
empty space in crates in transit
Decreased production emissions
because of a lower need for new crates but significantly
increased transport emissions
The need to recirculate used packaging, which
increases energy consumption
for transportation, sorting and cleaning
An increased need for
temporary storage for retailers and consumers
Practical issues, including the need to find new solutions for
shock absorption and scratch prevention
A decrease in
recycling rates and related circularity advantages
Implications for policy
Reuse is not always better than single use.
The effect of reusable packaging on forward flow is critical.
Without Europe-wide and cross-product standardisation, reuse will increase the environmental footprint of packaging instead of decreasing it.