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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 755: International Conference on Quality Management in Supply Chains of Ornamentals

RETURNABLE PLASTIC CRATES FOR FLOWERS

Authors:   C.F.H. Bishop, S.J. Hanney, G. Giles
Keywords:   carton, secondary packaging, warming
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.755.37
Abstract:
The use of returnable plastic crates (RPCs) is increasing in Europe in particular in the supply to florists and the wholesale markets. The benefits have been reduction of waste, ease of handling and bulk density. The bulk density of 50 cm roses or spray carnations is approximately 15% higher with RPCs as opposed to cardboard cartons. The cost benefit depends on the number of trips undertaken and the authors do not have sufficient information to yet make an evaluation on this aspect. The percentage of free area of stacked RPCs is greater than that of the traditional cardboard flower cartons used for dry storage. If RPCs containing flowers are placed in a “warm” location but with still air the temperature rise is approximately twice as fast as that with those packed in cardboard. The differences in rates of heat gain between the two packaging types are even greater if there is positive air movement.

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