Canadian Packaging

Plastic Pallet Project An Eggcellent Endeavor

The Cleanpal pallet is credited with helping Kroger reduce its fresh egg distribution costs by up to 66 per cent

December 9, 2019   Canadian Packaging

As the biggest supermarket chain in the U.S., The Kroger Co. is not the type to put all its eggs in one basket.

That said, the company’s recent commercial pilot project involving the use of returnable plastic containers (RPCs) has enabled it to crack down on the environmental footprint of its egg supply chain in a big way.

Recently selected as the winner of the 2019 Excellence in Reusable Packaging award of the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA), the partnership between Kroger and RPCs manufacturer Polymer Logistics has yielded multiple cost-savings and sustainability gains for the Cincinnati-headquartered retail giant.

Featuring an innovative interlocking design to facilitate nestable stacking in storage and transit, the Cleanpal pallet from Polymer Logistics provided Kroger with the means to build a secure shipping platform for shipping stacks of interlocked RPCs packed with egg cartons without the need for additional
dunnage materials like shrinkwrap films and corner boards.

Weighing up to 2.5 times less than traditional pallets, moving up to three times more pallets in truckload deliveries and returns, and enabling 1,000 incremental pounds of egg product per shipment from supplier to warehouse, the Cleanpal pallet is credited with helping Kroger reduce its fresh egg distribution costs by up to 66 per cent, while removing about 6,500 tons of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from the retailer’s egg supply chain.

“Kroger is committed to our ‘Zero Hunger-Zero Waste’ commitment in everything we touch,” says Kroger’s supply chain process change manager Joe O’Connor. “And this goal has led our drive to expand packaging reuse solutions with pallets and RPCs.

“The CleanPal pallet and the partnership with Polymer Logistics was a significant leap in our work up and down the supply chain for food to establish a balanced model to benefit our stores, DCs and customers.”

Presented at the PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2019 international packaging exhibition earlier this year, the award validates Polymer Logistics’ commitment to developing sustainable solutions for transporting perishable commodities like eggs in rigorous retail supply chains where product protection, safety and freshness cannot be compromised, according to the company.

“The Cleanpal pallet is a breakthrough in supermarket distribution platforms,” says Paul Pederson, senior vice-president of food safety in meat and dairy supply chains for Polymer Logistics.

“Our focus is to help retailers delight their shoppers with high-impact product presentation and efficient supply chain packaging systems,” Pederson says, “and the Cleanpal pallet, combined with RPCs, delivers on this goal.

“We thank Kroger for leading the Cleanpal pallet’s commercial introduction and congratulate them on winning the reusable packaging industry’s most prestigious award.”


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