Returnable Plastic Containers: Environmentally Friendly Uses of Plastic


In discussions about waste reduction and environmentally-friendly containers, plastics often get a bad reputation. Because single-use plastic containers are a leading cause of environmental issues worldwide, plastics in general can be lumped in as a net negative on the world. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Not only are plastics one of the greatest technological advancements we’ve ever made, but they’re also an incredibly eco-friendly option when designed for long-term use. But what is it about returnable plastic containers that’s so special? In this month’s blog post, we’ll be discussing what separates single-use plastics from returnable containers, and how switching to reusable can save you money.

Single Use Plastics Vs. Returnable Plastic Containers

For environmental and economic reasons, we here at Carter Associates heavily recommend returnable plastic containers wherever possible. However, we also want to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. For that reason, we’ll be doing a quick comparison of the strengths of both single use and returnable plastics.

Why Some Prefer Single Use Plastics

Generally speaking, single use plastics are the preferred choice for products transitioning from production to retail. Some of the primary benefits of using single-use plastics this way are:

  • Lower startup costs (though long-term results vary)
  • Easier supply chain management
  • More suitable for long-distance distribution
  • Usually lighter weight than reusable containers

For these reasons and more, many suppliers choose single-use packaging for short-term solutions. However, as a long-term solution, single use plastic tends to not only be environmentally wasteful, but also economically wasteful. Though single-use plastics usually require a smaller initial investment, they incur a recurring cost that stacks up over time.

Why Others Prefer Returnable Plastic Containers

Those who are in a position to invest in returnable plastic containers outright generally prefer to do so. Why? Well, because returnable containers:

  • Can be purchased a fraction as often as single use plastics
  • Are usually much stronger and secure than single-use plastics
  • Easier to handle
  • Don’t require end user disposal

All in all, we tend to recommend returnable plastic containers to companies that have the capital to invest in them. That way, they can save money, ensure safer transport of goods, and even help the environment.

Brass Tacks: Returnable Containers Save You Money

Now that we’ve discussed the practical applications of single use and returnable plastic containers, let’s move on to brass tacks. How much money can you save by switching to returnable plastic? Well, the answer to that will depend on how much your operation can benefit from affordable, reliable, reusable containers. For more information on how much money you can save, click here to contact our professionals today for personalized assistance.

Tags: returnable containers, returnable plastic containers