Reusable crates and backhauling

This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM , 14 May 2021

Print date: 14 April 2024 10:29

Description of the innovative solution

Packaging Circular economy

Reusable crates for food distribution eliminates massive amounts of waste. Currently, food and other items are shipped in packaging that is expected to be thrown away/recycled after it has reached its final destination. Using reusable crates that flow back and forth between supplier and distributor will cut down majorly on storage waste by products. Backhauling, the process of sending equipment back to its source after it has reached its desired location, creates a closed loop system for storage. This way the crates and bins used can be more durable and have a longer lifespan. By implementing reusable crates through the system of backhauling an incredible amount of unnecessary waste can be averted.

Supply chain segment

Handling, storage and transport/distribution

Maturity level

Moving to scale


Reducing pollution

SDG target

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production


Urban Peri-urban Rural Marine/Coastal

Examples and additional resources

Real-world examples

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Additional resources

Learn more about this solution through studies, articles, business cases, and other information

Reducing corrugated cardboard waste
Fact sheet on reducing corrugated cardboard waste featuring a section on the possibilities in using reusable crates
A review of reusable crates to encourage policy to mandate them
Scientific paper
A holistic review and dive into the supply chain of reusable crates and backhauling in Italy and their impacts on sustainable development


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