Going Green Without Going Into The Red

It’s fair to say we find crates, pallets, bakery trays, beverage shells and other plastic containers much more exciting than the average person. So it may come as a surprise that supply chain plastic packaging is now at the center of a thriving criminal enterprise. Criminals are heisting packaging materials right off loading docks and selling them on a kind of plastic black market. Seriously.

Our tough, lightweight products are designed to last years and years, and when they do finally come to the end of their long lifecycle, most are fully recyclable and go on to live another life as something else useful. So it pains us to see our products stolen out of the supply chain and out of our customers’ hands.

All told, these thefts add up to $500 million in losses per year for retailers and CPG companies. That… is a very large number.

Delivery drivers can be taught that tracking shells carefully now has to be a basic job requirement. Rehrig Pacific can help with that. Now, we aren’t detectives, but we are scientists, inventors and engineers. For years, we’ve produced pallets, crates and other supply chain products with RFID chips and GPS capability built in. This enables drivers and owners to track products at every link of the chain, from inventory to delivery to pick up. And when materials are under threat of theft, this tracking system allows companies to increase accountability of drivers and other workers in order to help prevent losses.

We contribute as much as we can to preserving inventory, but when necessary the real detectives come in. Police have busted theft rings around the country stockpiling plastics to sell overseas. Law enforcement has pushed for stiffer penalties against large-scale pallet theft and also helped raise awareness of the issue among the affected industries, the general public, and police forces around the nation.

The good news is that awareness is growing rapidly, and companies are working together to put a stop to plastics theft. Flowers Foods, a major producer of baked goods, has spread the word both internally and externally, to independent distributors, retail and foodservice customers. Together, they’ve driven down their losses to a mere 15%, which is half the industry average.

We are proud to do our part to raise awareness and aid in the prevention of the alarmingly huge plastics theft epidemic. With our technology, law enforcement’s crime-busting, and cooperation among industries, we can reduce theft, save money, and keep plastic packaging where it belongs—in the supply chain.

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