Reusable Plastic Crates: Are They Hygienic and Can They Be Sanitised?

There is no question that reusable plastic crates are a game changer for your business. They are essential for smooth transportation and storage operations, which ultimately improve the efficiency of your operations and maximise outputs at the same time. 

However, in a period where hygiene considerations are at an all-time high thanks to issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be wondering whether reusable crates can be easily sanitised. Today we’ll cover just this, as well as how to go about maintaining a hygienic collection of reusable crates across all links in the supply chain. 


What are Reusable Plastic Crates?

Reusable plastic crates are versatile plastic products that come in many different forms and offer businesses a durable and hygienic method of transporting their goods. A big benefit of reusable plastic crates is that they are easy to manufacture in any form or shape, allowing you to find the perfect fit for all of your business’ transportation needs. These are designed to be used multiple times, rather than simply once or twice which reduces the business's carbon footprint. 

In many cases plastic crates are actually more environmentally friendly than alternatives, because they can reused exponentially with proper care, as they are incredible durable. 

Plastic crates are highly durable and tend to last for many years within most industries, they don’t need to be replaced as often as their wood counterparts and can be incorporated all areas of your supply chain from storage to transportation and much more. 


Crate Hygiene Considerations

It’s important to remember that contamination can occur on any surface, regardless of the material². This means that whether you are using reusable crates or other types in your supply chain, the strictest of hygiene considerations need to be taken into account. This includes creating policies and training for employees to understand their role in preventing unhygienic conditions. 

A major benefit of using reusable plastic crates is the fact that they can be sanitized more easily and more effectively - since their surfaces are impermeable and can not be impregnated with both harmful fluids or cleaning agents.

If crates are used for perishable consumables, they need to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised regularly. Non-perishable consumables will require less maintenance but should still be tended to regularly to avoid facing challenges down the line and to maximise their lifespan. 

Reusable plastic crates can also alleviate the much of the initial sanitisation process since they carry no inherent risk of breaking down or carrying contaminants - if stored in a sterile manner.


How To Sanitise Plastic Crates 

Experts suggest a multi-step sanitisation process when it comes to thoroughly cleaning reusable plastic crates and containers³. 

This should cover a pre-wash to get rid of visible debris, a thorough wash and rinse followed by sanitisation, as well as air-drying them before they are reused. Protective gear is a must, in order to avoid possible contamination in the latter stages of the process. 

If you’re worried about utilising in-house resources to handle the process, purely from a productivity standpoint, consider outsourcing this to a commercial sanitisation service regularly instead. The investment will save you a lot of money in product recalls down the line. 


Crates Tailored to Your Needs

With agricultural, poultry, freezer and even stack and bread crates in our product range, you can find the right crates tailored to the needs of your business right here with MPC. We cater to multiple industries and have serviced customers all over South Africa for many years.

If you have any questions about sanitising your plastic crates, or would like to explore buying new stock to enhance your operations, reach out to our team and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have. We look forward to speaking with you soon. 


In-House Editorial. (n.d.). Reusable Crates | Crating & Packaging Leader. TransPak. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from 

Le Rouzic, A. (2020, March 27). Health and the Reuse Revolution: Is disposable safer than reusable? Let's consult the science. Greenpeace. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from 

In-House Editorial. (2020, August 10). How to Sanitize Plastic Pallets and Crates. TriEnda. Retrieved May 6, 2022, from