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RFID Can Aid Green Initiatives

Mission Foods, the winner of our first RFID Journal Green Award, shows that RFID technology can help companies reduce waste and lessen the impact they have on the environment.
Aug 01, 2011This year, RFID Journal introduced its newest RFID Journal Award—the Green Award—to highlight how some companies are employing radio frequency identification to reduce their environmental impact. Our winner, announced in April at RFID Journal LIVE! 2011, was Gruma Corp.'s Mission Foods subsidiary.

Mission Foods, one of the largest producers of corn flour and tortilla products, provides nearly one-quarter of all tortillas sold worldwide, as well as wraps, salsas, snacks and other food products. Previously, the company shipped tortilla chips and other light food products in corrugated boxes that cost $1 apiece. Mission Foods was spending more than $5 million annually on boxes that ended up in landfills after only a single use.


In 2009, Mission Foods opted to replace the disposable corrugated boxes with reusable plastic containers that cost $7 apiece. These containers each needed to be used at least eight times in order to justify the switch. The key to the project was tracking the containers with RFID, so that they wouldn't get lost, thereby leading to additional expenses.

During the planning process, Technology Container Corp. (TCC), which Mission Foods chose to supply the plastic containers, conducted a study of the economic and environmental savings that the food supplier could expect to achieve by eliminating the use of corrugated boxes at all of its U.S. facilities. TCC determined that over a five-year period, Mission Foods would save approximately $15 million, as well as decrease energy consumption by 91 percent, eliminate solid waste by 98 percent and reduce greenhouse gases by 90 percent.

USER COMMENTS

Jun Wee 2011-08-04 07:29:20 PM
Great initiative Reusing is always better than recycling. RFID and suppply chain solution providers can help reduce wastage, costs and extra energy expension. I hope all MNCs with large supply chains who are not already using reusable containers will seriously consider this as well.

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