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Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award

Application Now Available for the 2024 Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award.

See application form for award program details, instructions, and terms and conditions.

Due date May 15, 2024.

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Past Winners

Reusable System Award Category (2023)

A fresh produce wholesaler based out of Fresno, California, OK Produce wins the Reusable System award for their implementation of a plastic pallet program in the distribution of perishable foods to their network of customers.  OK Produce has introduced the reusable pallet program to 90% of their customer base, achieving cost-reductions, operational efficiencies, and solid waste reductions.

Design Innovation Award Category (2023)

A manufacturer of reusable transport packaging products, Schaefer Plastics North America wins the Design Innovation award for their electrostatic discharge (ESD) bulk bin.  The Grounder™ is a 48-inch-wide x 45-inch-long x 45-inch-tall plastic molded bin with metal plungers that protect shipped electronic parts against electrostatic contamination while reducing expendable packaging materials.

Product Technology Award Category (2023)

A supplier of integrated sustainable solutions for logistics and delivery customers, including environmental waste and recycling, supply chain, and direct store delivery, Rehrig Pacific wins the Product Technology award for their Vision Object Recognition (VOR) system. VOR offers warehouse customers an advanced technology solution featuring integrated components such as smart pallets, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to improve material handling, recordkeeping, inventory tracking, and quality control.

Reusable System Award Category (2022)

NestFresh partnered with H-E-B, and IFCO to create a sustainable, food safe reusable egg packaging solution that is suitable for suppliers of all sizes and can be rapidly deployed in supply chains. IFCO designed structurally robust and highly protective crates that keep the weight off the eggs to reduce egg damage. These crates also enable better traceability in the supply chain and are foldable, reducing both transportation costs and emissions.

Reusable System Award Category (2022)

Rivian partnered with SSI Schaefer Systems to assist in the design of an innovative container line utilizing Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP). Rivian and Shaefer collaborated with Envision Plastics and Plastic Bank to supply the OBP, which is collected from waterways across the globe.

Reusable System Award Category (2022)

Volvo turned to ORBIS Corporation to assist in finding a reusable container packaging solution to accommodate 30 steering wheels. ORBIS rose to the challenge, exploring two designs of the “AdjustaPak”. The first included a robust frame with multiple rails and hanging fabric dunnage that was then inserted into the bulk container. The second style removed the metal frame and instead used steel rods and hanging fabric dunnage.

Design Innovation Award Category (2022)

The Paxxal PX3 pallet uses a dual modality manufacturing process that combines the strengths and efficiencies of both roto molding (significantly less energy required utilizing patented SMART technology) and injection molding techniques (mass production with reduced cost).

Product Technology Award Category (2022)

Surgere’s Interius Asset Management module is a cloud-based application that allows complex supply chains to accurately track and analyze the movements of reusable assets. RFID tagged assets transmit information to one central database. For the automotive supply chain, Surgere created its first industry-specific data “community”, AutoSphere, to connect OEMs, suppliers, and logistics providers on a common tracking platform.

Thermo King and La Colombe (2021)

La Colombe implemented Schoeller Allibert’s Combo Excelsior Hybrid® IBCs in 2020 with Black Forest Container Systems as the pooler of the containers to create a closed loop system of reusable packaging with significant business and environmental benefits. The Combo Excelsior Hybrid IBC has an expected lifespan of 15 years.

Thermo King, a brand of global climate innovator Trane Technologies, replaced single-use wooden crates with a combined reusable packaging solution to help achieve their corporate initiative of zero waste to landfills by 2030 and other environmental objectives.

Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate and Liviri (2020)

Liviri reusable packaging partners with Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate to replace insulated cardboard boxes with Liviri Vino containers for e-commerce wine shipments, increasing product protection and reducing distribution costs and environmental impact.

The Kroger Company and Polymer Logistics (2019)

Kroger’s adoption of the Polymer Logistics Cleanpal® pallet reduces distribution costs and environmental impact in the retailer’s fresh egg supply chain.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and DS Smith (2018)

Faced with a combination of operational and supply chain challenges in the production and transportation of two leading beer brands, AB InBev (ABI) invested in a comprehensive program of preventative maintenance, pallet redesign, and logistics redesign that not only improved environmental and business performance, but also extended the lifespan of reusable packaging components.

Goodwill Industries, STIHL, and ORBIS Corporation (2017)

By replacing corrugated cartons with standardized KTP GP3 reusable plastic containers, STIHL realized significant cost savings, a favorable payback on container purchases and required machinery modifications, reduction in material handling, forklift traffic, and down-time, along with improved intercompany inventory balance and component exchange…all while reducing the amount of cardboard returned for recycling by over 760 tons annually.

Cardinal Health (2016)

Faced with $4 Million in temperature-related product spoilage annually and the excessive cost and waste of single-use shipping materials, Cardinal Health needed cost-effective packaging solutions that could maintain product within narrow temperature levels and reduce their overall environmental impact. Their holistic, Innovative solution ensures safe, efficient, and sustainable delivery of refrigerated pharmaceuticals, while reducing spoilage by 90% and generating annual savings of $5.6 Million and cost avoidance of $9.5 Million. Today, they move $18 billion of product in 6.5 million reusable totes that are temperature controlled by phase change coolant packs that are used over 87 times and shipped inside bulk shippers that are used nearly 200 times each.

Herman Miller, Boulder Valley School District, and Subaru of Indiana Automotive (2015)

Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. took a fresh look at its existing reusable packaging program and uncovered new areas to gain deeper process improvements as well as more cost and environmental savings. SIA achieved a cost savings of nearly $16 million by re-purposing existing reusable packaging from earlier production lines and by replacing additional corrugated containers with new reusable packaging. They also achieved a targeted goal of using reusable packaging for 95 percent of direct ship parts for the production of its 2015 Subaru Outback and Legacy models, keeping more than 28,000 tons of cardboard out of the waste stream.

By using reusable packaging rather than corrugated, Herman Miller, Inc saved more than $400,000 in material and freight costs; and kept 100 tons of waste out of the landfill. The company’s innovative use of outbound reusable packaging helped it earn a customer’s contract that included high standards for safety and sustainability goals.

Boulder Valley School District saved $4,581 and kept 4,587 pounds of cardboard out of the waste stream by switching to reusable packaging for the delivery of apples and beef patties. The food is prepped in three regional kitchens and then shipped out in reusables to individual school cafeterias that serve 12,000 meals daily.

Svenska Retursystem (2014)

Sven­ska Retursys­tem led a pro­gram to estab­lish a com­mon pool­ing sys­tem for more than 200 food pro­duc­ers in Swe­den and food man­u­fac­tur­ers through­out Europe that export their goods to the Swedish trade.  Since the program’s incep­tion in 2001, nearly 1 bil­lion crates have been deliv­ered, replac­ing the same num­ber of sin­gle use pack­ag­ing. By offer­ing the whole indus­try the same terms and cost of pack­ag­ing, the pro­gram has neu­tral­ized pack­ag­ing as a com­pet­i­tive fac­tor and freed up the food pro­duc­ers to focus more on their core business.


FINELITE saved $28,000 in costs and eliminating 25,000 pounds of waste annually through the use of many types of reusables for storing and handling parts, and for shipping materials between its factory in Union City, CA and its strategic partners in Livermore, CA and China.

Herman Miller (2012)

Herman Miller’s reusable packaging initiative saved the company $46,000 annually in material and labor.

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