“Don't forget to leave the strawberry box here” is a phrase that most consumers will be tired of hearing us say. When we say strawberries, we say blueberries, baby kiwi, physalis or even mushrooms. Well, here's the explanation of such insistence.
The little boxes where we place the most fragile products in our basket are reusable. This choice was made with an ecological purpose: to have an alternative to disposable plastic containers and to minimize the environmental impact of our activity. At the end of each delivery, these little boxes (which are made in Portugal) are stored in our selling points and are reused when assembling our baskets for the following week. Unless associates take them home with them.
This has been happening regularly, which forces us to make new purchases of boxes and exactly what we didn't want to do - spend more resources than we needed to.
“I'll bring it in next week” is a common phrase we hear at our selling points, but it's not a solution. The number of boxes we have stored at each delivery point is based on the number of consumers who pick up baskets there. And we need this material at 2:30 pm when the baskets are assembled and not after 5 pm when they already have to be ready to be sold. In short, if all associates take the boxes home with the intention of returning them the following week, we will run out of boxes in which to put the fragile products on the next delivery.
That's why we insist so much on consumers to leave their little boxes in the selling point. Because we may be lacking immediately and because we want to maintain an operating model that results in the lowest possible environmental costs.