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Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award

The RPA Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award recognizes primary (end) user companies and suppliers of products and services that have developed and implemented measurable and innovative reusable transport packaging solutions in their supply chain.

The 2022 application period is now open. Click on the button below to download the application form with instructions on completing and submitting the award entry. The application period closes on June 15, 2022.

Three Excellence in Reusable Packaging Awards are offered in 2022: (1) Reuse System; (2) Design Innovation; and (3) Product Technology. Refer to the application form for descriptions about each award category.

Congratulations to La Colombe and Thermo King, Winners of the 2021 Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award!

The Reusable Packaging Association is pleased to announce two winners of the 2021 Excellence in Reusable Packaging award program. La Colombe won for their implementation of Schoeller Allibert’s Combo Excelsior Hybrid®, a reusable intermediate bulk container (IBC), as supplied and serviced by Black Forest Container Systems for the transport of liquid products from manufacturing to bottling facilities. Thermo King won for its adoption of reusable steel crates, flexible sleeves, and pallets, as supplied and serviced by Reusability, for distributing auxiliary power and transport refrigeration units from manufacturing to dealers and original equipment manufacturers.

Watch the 2021 winners discuss the solutions and outcomes that won the 2021 Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award:

Past Winners

Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate and Liviri (2020)

Liviri reusable packaging partners with Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate to replace insulated cardboard boxes with Liviri Vino containers for e-commerce wine shipments, increasing product protection and reducing distribution costs and environmental impact.

The Kroger Company and Polymer Logistics (2019)

Kroger’s adoption of the Polymer Logistics Cleanpal® pallet reduces distribution costs and environmental impact in the retailer’s fresh egg supply chain.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and DS Smith (2018)

Faced with a combination of operational and supply chain challenges in the production and transportation of two leading beer brands, AB InBev (ABI) invested in a comprehensive program of preventative maintenance, pallet redesign, and logistics redesign that not only improved environmental and business performance, but also extended the lifespan of reusable packaging components.

Goodwill Industries, STIHL, and ORBIS Corporation (2017)

By replacing corrugated cartons with standardized KTP GP3 reusable plastic containers, STIHL realized significant cost savings, a favorable payback on container purchases and required machinery modifications, reduction in material handling, forklift traffic, and down-time, along with improved intercompany inventory balance and component exchange…all while reducing the amount of cardboard returned for recycling by over 760 tons annually.

Cardinal Health (2016)

Faced with $4 Million in temperature-related product spoilage annually and the excessive cost and waste of single-use shipping materials, Cardinal Health needed cost-effective packaging solutions that could maintain product within narrow temperature levels and reduce their overall environmental impact. Their holistic, Innovative solution ensures safe, efficient, and sustainable delivery of refrigerated pharmaceuticals, while reducing spoilage by 90% and generating annual savings of $5.6 Million and cost avoidance of $9.5 Million. Today, they move $18 billion of product in 6.5 million reusable totes that are temperature controlled by phase change coolant packs that are used over 87 times and shipped inside bulk shippers that are used nearly 200 times each.

Herman Miller, Boulder Valley School District, and Subaru of Indiana Automotive (2015)

Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. took a fresh look at its existing reusable packaging program and uncovered new areas to gain deeper process improvements as well as more cost and environmental savings. SIA achieved a cost savings of nearly $16 million by re-purposing existing reusable packaging from earlier production lines and by replacing additional corrugated containers with new reusable packaging. They also achieved a targeted goal of using reusable packaging for 95 percent of direct ship parts for the production of its 2015 Subaru Outback and Legacy models, keeping more than 28,000 tons of cardboard out of the waste stream.

By using reusable packaging rather than corrugated, Herman Miller, Inc saved more than $400,000 in material and freight costs; and kept 100 tons of waste out of the landfill. The company’s innovative use of outbound reusable packaging helped it earn a customer’s contract that included high standards for safety and sustainability goals.

Boulder Valley School District saved $4,581 and kept 4,587 pounds of cardboard out of the waste stream by switching to reusable packaging for the delivery of apples and beef patties. The food is prepped in three regional kitchens and then shipped out in reusables to individual school cafeterias that serve 12,000 meals daily.

Svenska Retursystem (2014)

Sven­ska Retursys­tem led a pro­gram to estab­lish a com­mon pool­ing sys­tem for more than 200 food pro­duc­ers in Swe­den and food man­u­fac­tur­ers through­out Europe that export their goods to the Swedish trade.  Since the program’s incep­tion in 2001, nearly 1 bil­lion crates have been deliv­ered, replac­ing the same num­ber of sin­gle use pack­ag­ing. By offer­ing the whole indus­try the same terms and cost of pack­ag­ing, the pro­gram has neu­tral­ized pack­ag­ing as a com­pet­i­tive fac­tor and freed up the food pro­duc­ers to focus more on their core business.


FINELITE saved $28,000 in costs and eliminating 25,000 pounds of waste annually through the use of many types of reusables for storing and handling parts, and for shipping materials between its factory in Union City, CA and its strategic partners in Livermore, CA and China.

Herman Miller (2012)

Herman Miller’s reusable packaging initiative saved the company $46,000 annually in material and labor.

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