Choosing packaging material for dairy products and soft drinks is an interesting issue at the moment. Discussions arise on the costs impacts and environmental impacts of both one way packaging and reusable packaging. The aim of this article is to develop an evaluation tool providing costs and environmental impacts of the PC-bottle and the GT-packs in the dairy sector, considering forward and return flows. The evaluation tool enables the user to analyse the costs and environmental impacts of a supply chain with and without return flows using scenario analyses with respect to the use of various carrier types and the number of return loops. It appears that costs differences between PC-bottles and GT-pack are quite small. The PC bottle has a better environmental profile than the GT-pack. Scenario analysis on the carriers results in the advice to use preferably roll-in-containers with direct delivery, secondly roll-in-containers with delivery via distribution centers, thirdly in case of direct delivery either cartons or crates and cartons in case of delivery via distribution centers.

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J.M, van Nunen, J.A.E.E, Vroom, J, & van der Linden, A. (2001). One and Two Way Packaging in the Dairy Sector (No. ERS-2001-58-LIS). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from