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Pluscrates launches tote repair service

Crate rental specialist Pluscrates has announced the launch of a new crate repair service to support the rapidly increasing use of Returnable Transit Packaging (RTP) by major retailers and supermarkets. With an estimated 100,000 crates, or totes being scrapped due to damage every year, Pluscrates believes the new service will be popular with customers keen to reduce waste and protect their bottom line.

Pluscrates’ Managing Director, John Mitchell said, "We’ve been recycling the plastic raw material in our own broken totes for many years, but more recently we decided to introduce a ‘speed welding’ technique to repair damaged totes and return them into service. It proved very successful, so it was a logical step to begin offering the same repair service to our clients in the retail sector."

With speed welding, a plastic welder similar to a soldering iron in appearance and wattage, is fitted with a feed tube for the plastic weld rod. The speed tip heats the rod and the substrate and at the same time presses the molten welding rod into position. A bead of softened plastic is laid into the joint fusing the parts together. With some types of plastic, such as polypropylene, the melted welding rod must be mixed with the semi-melted base material being fabricated or repaired. Pluscrates uses a speed tip ‘gun’ which is essentially a soldering iron with a broad flat tip that can be used to melt the weld joint and filler materiel to create a secure bond.

The repair service includes collection of damaged totes from the customer’s premises and their return. Any totes that cannot be economically repaired are responsibly recycled, so nothing is wasted. On average the cost of repairing and recycling equates to around half that of purchasing new stock, thereby reducing overheads and the impact on the environment.

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