US-based solar panels manufacturer Itek Energy has launched a reusable PV module packaging takeback programme on a pilot basis.

The scheme uses a black polypropylene piece that fits each corner of the module and acts as a spacer, as well as corner protector.

The pieces further prevent modules from coming into contact with one another and getting damaged during shipping.

“Our goal was to reduce waste and inefficiency, without adding a burden to our customers.”

The company adopted this system, which was previously designed by EckPack, in order to improve shipping practices and increase the security of their product during transportation.

Itek Energy launched this programme after noticing that around 90% of the polypropylene corners were undamaged and reusable after the initial use.

Itek Energy special projects coordinator Evan Bush said: “We wanted to develop a programme to enable solar installers to easily and efficiently return the packing corners for reuse.

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“Our goal was to reduce waste and inefficiency, without adding a burden to our customers.”

Along with the shipment of PV modules, the company is delivering totes that can be used to store the corner pieces since they are removed from the modules before installation.

When customers pick up their next order, they can swap a full bag for an empty one.

The company has reached a deal with Oak Harbor Freight Lines for the pick-up and return of reusable packaging.

Itek is also developing a pallet return programme.