Since Rehrig Pacific was founded, we’ve asked ourselves, “How can we create products that last longer and waste less?” It led us to design the most durable, reusable wooden milk crates in the market at the turn of the 20th century, and inspired us to switch to durable, reusable plastic later on. We haven’t stopped innovating solutions in sustainability since.

But we knew that wasn’t enough. As a leading manufacturer of products used around the globe, we understand the sizeable impact we have on the planet, our customers, and our communities. That’s why Rehrig Pacific is building toward a “circular,” or “closed loop,” economy. In a closed loop system, every part and piece serves the function it was intended to perform, and then it is either repurposed or recycled into a part or piece that will serve a different use.

The idea of a closed-loop system goes beyond recycling. There are numerous materials that are recycled to create different product types after their initial service life. One example would be plastic bottles (PET) that are recycled into fibrous padding, or stuffing for blankets or plush animals. Sounds great in theory, and it’s certainly better than not recycling the plastic at all, but this semi closed-loop still produces a final product that will end up in a landfill or ocean.

Rehrig Pacific is dedicated to ensuring that our products help create a true closed-loop system. Our pallets have much longer service lives than a traditional pallet, as well as being 100% recyclable at the end of that service life. The same goes for our crates, pails and other plastic products. But creating recyclable products is only half the battle. We want to help close the loop for our customers, too. And that’s exactly what we do, taking products from other industries and recycling them into new products that those same industries can then use.

Our beverage crates are a great example. We’ve known how to recycle plastic beverage containers for quite a while. But the plastic caps and labels that are packaged with these bottles have long been discarded, unable to be melted down into durable materials. Until now. Through a partnership with CarbonLite Recycling, Rehrig Pacific now uses recycled plastic caps and labels in our crates, moving us one step closer to a truly closed loop system.

We’re also creating sustainable solutions for the fishing industry. By taking fishing nets that have been discarded into the ocean and turning them into reusable and recyclable bins and crates, we’re helping close the loop for — you guessed it — the fishing industry. We use old plastic play toys and discarded lawn furniture as well. It’s only a matter of time before we’ll find the way to use every kind of discarded plastic and turn it into products that make a bigger difference in your business and zero impact on the planet.