Food service providers, logistics, quality and operations teams are racing to comply with new reusable packaging regulations. Now they can take advantage of winning technology that meets the circulation requirements. Reusable, RFID-enabled digital packaging solutions from Avery Dennison enable circularity that provides legal compliance, while meeting escalating consumer-demands for sustainability.
Why RFID-enabled packaging?
Deploying digital identification with RFID technology to reusable containers and packaging enables food service providers to have visibility of these assets throughout the circularity loop. It allows them the ability to maintain stock levels of containers in the restaurant, manage deposits and track the return process across service platforms. Additionally, as consumers begin to become accustomed to utilizing reusable packaging, the full transparency offered by digital enablement will help food service providers successfully manage consumer adoption as well.
What is Circularity?
The term “circularity” literally means the practice of encouraging reuse, recycling, or sustainability in consumption. For food service providers, achieving circularity might require employing reverse logistics. Reverse logistics entails having a third-party provider pick up used containers, wash them in their facilities and bring them back to either the restaurant DC or to restaurant locations.
The process is not unlike what restaurants have done for decades with their beverage containers. The difference is that with reusable packaging the consumer becomes an integral part of the process. While consumer participation marks a new point on the reverse logistics supply chain, it should be seen as an additional opportunity for guests to positively re-engage with the brand.
Tracking Reusable Packaging
By providing the reusable containers with digital identification, such as RFID, food service providers address the new circularity challenges effectively and efficiently and elevate the brand image. However, there are additional benefits as well.
Like any logistics process, knowing how many items there are, where they are located and when they will arrive is essential knowledge. With the implementation of intelligent digital identification, the circularity of reusable packaging creates a new trove of advantageous data for operations. Digitally enabled packaging (with RFID) can offer transparency that provides food service providers with real-time details on the current location and expected arrival of their reusable items, which are considered essential assets. The RFID-enabled assets are entirely visible from the time the guest takes the container from the restaurant, when they return it, in and out of washing facilities and ultimately, their route back to the food service provider.
These reusable solutions are 100% washable, and the RFID-enabled packaging can withstand hundreds of wash cycles through industrial washing and cleaning processes; therefore significantly extending the life cycle of the product. With these reusable solutions, customers can access dashboards and reports to measure and monitor in real-time:
- Item Location
- Dwell Time
- Carbon Footprint
- Cycle Counts
- Shelf Life