Is It Cheaper To Buy Local Or Import Plastic Containers?

The global pandemic has made it harder for many businesses around the world to turn a healthy profit over the last two years.

A lot of leaders have had to think long and hard about the best ways to cut costs or to improve operational efficiency based on the new normal.

Companies that use plastic containers in their supply chains might also compare using locally sourced versus imported plastic containers.

Today, we’ll explore local procured compared to exporting, from a practical point of view. 

Going The Plastic Route

Compared to its competitors, plastic is a affordable, lightweight and an adaptable option¹ when it comes to storing and transporting containers. A local supplier offering decent bulk purchase rates can mean quicker turnaround times for new and replacement options. That’s not to say that imported plastic containers can’t match a fast turnaround time, especially considering the globalised nature of the world we live in. 


Factoring In The Environment Impact

When choosing between buying plastic containers locally or having them shipped in from abroad, something to add into the cost calculation is the environmental impact of the business.

Companies are facing more pressure than ever to take responsibility for their green ratings, and to make a contribution to the sustainability of the planet in the process. Buying locally means forfeiting the additional emissions brought on by containers traveling from abroad by air or sea. Shipping causes about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions², with air travel not far behind. 

The Economic Effect Of Imported Products

While it might be possible to get cheaper deals on cheaper quality imported containers, it’s important to consider the decision with a wider scope than just the day-to-day bottom line of the business. Not supporting the local economy, leads to long-term implications for the local people³. With less competition locally, prices are able to be driven up over time. Factories have to close, workers lose their jobs and the country increases the likelihood of falling into a period of stagnation. 


A Local, Sustainable Plastic Container Supplier

MPC is a reputable plastic container manufacturer in South Africa. We not only encourage stimulating our local economies, but have also paved the way for others to think about their plastic use in a sustainable way. 


  1. Gray, R. (2018, July 6). What's the real price of getting rid of plastic packaging? BBC. Retrieved March 3, 2022, from 
  2. In-House Editorial. (2021, August 2). Maritime shipping causes more greenhouse gases than airlines » Yale Climate Connections. Yale Climate Connections. Retrieved March 3, 2022, from 
  3. In-House Editorial. (2015, March 27). Imported products are cheap, but far from cheerful. Farmer's Weekly. Retrieved March 3, 2022, from 

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