Wakefern Food Corp. Partners With IFCO and Tosca for Sustainable Packaging Solutions; Robert Zuehlke Discusses
KEASBEY, NJ - Dynamic partnerships jumpstart our days here at ANUK. When that partnership involves sustainability, the excitement is even more palpable. Recently, Wakefern Food Corp., one of the largest retailer-owned grocery cooperatives in the United States, partnered with IFCO and Tosca to adopt the latest in RPCs (Reusable Plastic Containers) in its produce department to improve quality, sustainability, and lower costs for customers.
“Adopting reusable RPCs is a win for our customers, our suppliers, the environment, and Wakefern,” said Robert Zuehlke, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility for Wakefern. “Wakefern is focused on engaging vendors whose products help drive a more sustainable future by reducing the environmental impacts of packaging, food waste, and greenhouse gas emissions.”
With teammates such as IFCO and Tosca—specialists in RPCs—Wakefern is able to maximize supply chain efficiency through better product protection and temperature control. The containers also save time, space, and money for shippers and allow for improved freshness with highly ventilated, foldable, and sturdy designs.
Additionally, noted the release, RPCs allow produce to be better stored and handled in warehouses through efficient stacking and integration with automated processes, reducing potential food loss and waste from conventional single-use packaging.
When compared to single-use packaging, RPCs are shown to generate less carbon dioxide and solid waste. They also require less energy and use less water than their single-use counterparts. As reported by the Plastics Industry Association, making new products with recycled plastics, not just RPCs, requires 66 percent less energy than using raw plastic materials.
For more than four decades, Wakefern has worked to protect the environment, conserve natural resources, and assist communities where its stores operate. This effort expands on Wakefern’s food loss prevention and food waste diversion practices. Last year alone, Wakefern donated over 5,000 tons of food to local food banks, composted more than 8,200 tons of food waste, and has recycled more than 2.6 million tons of materials since the late 1970s.
How will Wakefern and the retail community tackle food waste and sustainability challenges? AndNowUKnow will report.