U.S. Foodservice-Fort Mill Shrinks Dependency on Plastic Wrap, Stretches Dollar With Switch to Rubber Bands

Using reusable rubber bands to secure products for storage and shipping is environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

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They are about 1/16 inch thick and can stretch to fit around a pallet up to 4 feet by 4 feet. While we can't replace shrink wrap in every situation, the decrease in plastic wrap use has been significant, amounting to reductions of more than 100,000 pounds of wrap per year.

Fort Mill, SC (PRWEB) August 17, 2009

Rubber bands are replacing plastic shrink wrap at U.S. Foodservice-Fort Mill. The operation's innovative application of large, reusable rubber bands instead of clear plastic wrap to secure food products for delivery has proved to be a great way to stretch the dollar and improve environmental stewardship.

In a five month pilot program to test the use of rubber bands in securing smaller product loads on warehouse pallets, Fort Mill used 11 percent less shrink wrap and saved nearly $8,000.
"Plastic shrink wrap is made from petrochemicals and can only be used once, but rubber bands are reusable with an average life span of six months to a year," said Dan Harris, President, U.S. Foodservice-Fort Mill.

"We were using tens of thousands of pounds of shrink wrap in our warehouse every year to secure products on pallets while stored on racks, and we knew there had to be a more cost-effective way to manage this process," Harris said. "Replacing shrink wrap with rubber bands really helped bring our costs down and make our warehouse operations more environmentally-friendly."

"These are not your average rubber bands," Harris added. "They are about 1/16 inch thick and can stretch to fit around a pallet up to 4 feet by 4 feet. While we can't replace shrink wrap in every situation, the decrease in plastic wrap use has been significant, amounting to reductions of more than 100,000 pounds of wrap per year."

This new rubber band strategy is just one example of the sustainability improvements U.S. Foodservice has implemented recently at its Fort Mill operations, Harris said. A dedicated sustainability team aggressively seeks out new ways to reduce energy consumption, eliminate waste, and add recycling programs. These efforts have resulted in a number of innovations that demonstrate the Fort Mill division's commitment to sustainability in three key areas: environment, products and community.

"We are committed to sustainability in everything we do," said Harris. "We are proud of our environmental leadership on behalf of our customers and the communities we serve."

About U.S. Foodservice
U.S. Foodservice is one of the country's premier foodservice distributors, offering more than 43,000 national, private label and signature brand items and an array of services to its more than 250,000 customers. The company proudly employs 26,000 associates in more than 60 locations nationwide who are poised to serve customers beyond their expectations. As industry leaders, with access to resources beyond the ordinary, U.S. Foodservice provides the finest quality food and related products to neighborhood restaurants, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, hotels, government entities and other eating establishments. To find out how U.S. Foodservice can be Your partner beyond the plate®, visit the company's website at http://www.usfoodservice.com .

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