Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Returnable tray for distribution of beverages cuts packaging waste

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Returnable tray for distribution of beverages cuts packaging waste
New, returnable multi-purpose plastic tray can be used for storage, transportation and in-store display of beverages.
In Use – Commercially available and in use in Australia

Packaging Reduction, Reuse

Product Categories

Relevant Materials
Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Pallets, RTP

Supply Chain Phase
Supply Chain handling systems and store replenishment


An Australian company has developed a reusable tray for use in distribution, storage and in-store display of beverages. The company engaged in a collaborative project to ‘imagine a more innovative beverage supply chain’, that included reduced environmental impacts. The result was the pool of reusable multi-purpose beverage trays formed from fully recyclable polypropylene which will hold either 1.25 litres carbonated soft drink bottles or 2 litre juice bottles.

The unique design of the tray ensures load stability with bottles secured at both the base and closure points. The trays can be used in fully automated packing systems, are light-weight, stable and protect drink bottles in transit.The trays are also a ”one-touch” packaging solution, which means the same packaging is used for storage, transportation and in-store retail displays. The lightweight, stackable tray design minimises transport fuel use and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Implementation of the tray solution has eliminated an estimated 1,250 tonnes of single trip cardboard from the Australian beverage supply chain per annum .
The new design was developed by CHEP Australia and it achieved a highly commended award from Australia's Green Globe awards which recognise environmental excellence, leadership and innovation.
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

Implementation of the tray solution has already eliminated an estimated 1,250 tonnes of single trip cardboard from the Australian beverage supply chain per annum. Further penetration of this solution will result in additional packaging waste elimination over time.
The manufacturer also claims the following benefits for the new system:
  • Decreased labour costs associated with hand stacking shelves with a one-touch merchandising system
  • Lower risk of product damage through reduced handling of goods
  • Improved transport and storage efficiency with low profile stacking when empty
  • Reduced occupational health and safety risk and improved handling as trays are lightweight at just over 1kg
  • Increased transport yield with 5 layer stacking configuration.

Intellectual Property

The new system has been developed by CHEP Australia.

Consultant View

This reusable beverage tray represents a useful alternative to one-trip beverage packaging and has the potential for greater adoption outside of Australia overtime. However, adoption would require agreement and co-ordination across the supply chain.
In addition to its environmental benefits the new tray offers commercial benefits to users through reduced product handling costs as it can be used to stabilise beverage containers both in distribution and in-store.
Reviewers who are interested in this solution may wish to consult the REID database for other examples of reusable transit items and other examples of packaging reduction and elimination. Try using search terms such as "Transit packaging", "Reuseable packaging" and "Packaging reduction".

Contacts and Further Information

Frank Vittoria, Business Development Manager 
CHEP Australia
Level 6, Building C, 11 Talavera Road,
North Ryde NSW 2113
Tel: (02) 9856 2437

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