RPC Labels, Explained

Reusable plastic containers (RPCs) are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly packaging solution in the food industry. However, in the food industry, you have to consider more than just the container itself. Container labels must also meet specific requirements for RPCs to be fully functional and practical.

RPCs can quickly become disorganized and difficult to manage without the proper labels. A suitable labeling system should make it easy for retailers and warehouse staff to identify each container, track its contents, and determine where it needs to be stored or shipped.

This blog post will explore RPC labels, the newest innovations in the industry, and how to choose the correct labels for your needs.

What are RPC Labels?

RPC labels are unique labels designed for reusable plastic containers. They usually include a barcode, product details, batch information, significant dates, and other relevant data to help you quickly identify and manage the RPCs.

These labels come in various sizes and shapes depending on the size of the container. Generally, they should be made from sturdy, waterproof material that can withstand long-term exposure to moisture and extreme temperatures. They should also be durable enough to survive the rigors of warehouse and store operations and transportation.

An Overview of RPC Labels

RPC labels are an integral part of the overall packaging solution in the food industry. They are designed to provide traceability and control of products and improve accuracy in inventory management.

Companies use RPC labels to track their product lifecycle from production to distribution. This helps them ensure they get the freshest products while improving efficiency in their operations. RPC labels can also help reduce losses due to mislabeling or improperly accounting for goods.

In the past, produce growers, suppliers, and retailers would make and use their own labels with different content, layouts, fonts, and materials. This created problems with traceability and product safety, making identifying and managing products challenging.

With the introduction of standardized RPC labels, the food industry can avoid these issues. All labels now have to follow a set standard to ensure compatibility, allowing for greater efficiency and accuracy in inventory management.

How Do RPC Labels Benefit Everyone?

RPC labels benefit everyone involved in the supply chain. From the supplier to the retailer to the consumer, RPC labels make it easier to ensure that their products are always fresh and safe for consumers. Here are a few reasons why.

Improve Product Traceability

RPC labels provide a simple and effective way to track products from production to distribution, ensuring their freshness and safety. This lets you quickly identify, manage, and track products throughout the supply chain. It also makes it easier for you to trace any products in case of a recall.

Enhance the Supply Chain

Using standardized RPC labels also helps improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain. With all labels following a standard format, you can more easily identify and manage products in your inventory. This results in fewer errors and improved accuracy.

Reduce Waste and Losses

Mislabeled products can be improperly accounted for or wasted due to incorrect storage. Standardized labels help reduce waste and losses due to incorrect labeling or product misplacement. Using the same labels for all RPCs eliminates confusion about which products are in each container. This helps you keep track of their inventory more effectively and avoid unnecessary waste or losses.

Ideal for Long-term Use

RPC labels are also cost-effective and durable, making them ideal for long-term use. They are usually printed on waterproof materials that can withstand extreme temperatures and moisture. Choosing the most appropriate product labels helps businesses save on packaging costs.

What Are the Specifications Provided by the IFCO for RPC Labels?

The International Food Container Organization (IFCO) regulates the design and use of RPC labels. They provide standards for how businesses and organizations should design their labels, what information they should include, and the specific requirements for the labels’ size and shape. This ensures that all RPCs have compatible labels that every participant in the supply chain can easily use. Here are some of the specifications that the IFCO provides for RPC labels.

Adhesive and Label Requirements

Certain adhesives and substrates must meet the requirements for RPC labels. The adhesive should be water-resistant, temperature-stable, and able to adhere to the surface of the RPC for 28 days, 95% of the time. The label must be no larger than four inches long and two inches wide. It must also be printed on a waterproof, durable film or paper material that can withstand extreme temperatures.

Label Placement

The IFCO also specifies how businesses and organizations should apply their labels to the RPCs. Here is a breakdown of the label placement requirements for RPCs:

  • You must place the RPC label only on the short panel end walls of the RPC
  • You should avoid placing the RPC label on the long side panels, the bottom, or inside the RPC
  • You must not wrap the RPC label around the handle areas
  • If you must use a larger RPC for any reason, place the label on the dimpled areas of the short wall, not the corner locks.

How DRG Technologies Partnered With IFCO To Improve RPC Labels

DRG Technologies is one of the leading companies offering solutions for RPC labels. We collaborated with IFCO, Avery Dennison, and fresh produce growers to create a new, innovative label solution. Some of the benefits that these labels provide include the following.

Durable and Consistent

Our labels are reliable, especially for growers and packers. The labels feature a high-performing, temperature-stable, water-resistant adhesive, offering the highest possible durability throughout the supply chain. This helps ensure products are correctly labeled and accounted for, improving overall traceability and inventory control.

Completely Removable

A significant challenge with RPC labels is that they often have to be removed after the product reaches its destination, which leaves IFCO RPCs with excess residue or damage. We have developed labels that are completely removable during sanitation, ensuring that RPCs are clean and residue-free. This ensures the RPCs are left in perfect condition for their future use.


At DRG Technologies, we had cost containment in mind when designing the new RPC labels. We wanted to make sure that our new labels were not more expensive than the previously-used label solution. Fortunately, the costs of the new and improved labels are significantly lower than the previously approved ones, offering a cost-effective solution for RPCs. This new material offers increased efficiency, reducing waste and costs associated with replacing labels.

Innovative Material

Current labels are typically made of paper or film materials. DRG Technologies had performed extensive field testing to develop a unique paper material that rivals the functionality of film, delivering superior performance in all environments. Hydro-cooling applications are the only condition where this new label doesn’t work as effectively.

Revolutionizing the Label Industry Towards Efficiency and Sustainability

RPC labels play a crucial role in the efficiency and sustainability of supply chain operations. Standardizing RPC labels through the IFCO ensures that products are correctly labeled, accounted for, and tracked throughout their journey.

While currently approved labels do their job, they leave excess residue during the sanitation process. This can significantly slow the process, becoming a roadblock to the pooling system. It could also mean that RPCs may be damaged and need to be replaced more frequently, incurring additional costs.

DRG Technologies offers a comprehensive RPC labeling solution. Our RPC labels are constructed using durable paper materials designed to withstand harsh environments and temperature variations, ensuring the product’s packaging remains intact throughout its lifespan. Our labels are also easily removable during sanitation, leaving no residue and avoiding additional costs associated with replacing RPCs.

Contact DRG Technologies for Your Label Needs

With the help of IFCO and Avery Dennison, DRG Technologies was able to develop an innovative and cost-effective solution for RPC labels that helps streamline supply chain operations and improve sustainability. We are proud to provide a best-in-class label solution that makes a difference for the entire industry.

If you’re looking for a dependable and budget-friendly labeling solution, the RPC labels from DRG Technologies are the perfect solution. We offer samples to try for you to see first-hand the advantages of our labels. We also provide comprehensive support and assistance to help you make the best decision for your RPC labeling needs.

Contact us today to learn more about our RPC labels and how they can revolutionize your business operations.