Consider automation, safety for post-pandemic returns | College students help farmers while helping food banks | Household items produced with recycled glass, concrete
May 27, 2020
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Top Story
Retailers need to be ready for the surge in returns of online purchases as more states allow businesses to reopen, writes Sarah Jones. Automation can make returns more efficient, while Larisa Summers, senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce at Optoro, says that workers need to be trained in handling returned items safely.
Full Story: Sourcing Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/26) 
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Meeting customer needs and expectations
A focus on customer service should be a priority for wholesalers, both in the current climate and moving into the future. How can businesses deliver on that? Hear from experts at NetSuite, Logistics Bureau and SmartBrief in this on-demand webinar.
Industry Update
Students at Brown and Stanford universities have created FarmLink, a nonprofit initiative that buys extra produce from farmers and provides it to food banks, preventing waste. FarmLink also arranges trucking for farmers who can't transport produce on their own.
Full Story: The Brown Daily Herald (Providence, R.I.) (5/23) 
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Bottle Rocket Design in Tucson, Ariz., uses concrete fused with repurposed glass to produce household items such as tables and lamps. The family-owned business has been recycling bottles donated by bars and friends, then combining them with concrete to make their creations for about a decade.
Full Story: Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) (5/20) 
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Join us for this Special RLA Webinar: The Changing Landscape of Reverse Logistics. Come listen to experts from the reverse logistics industry discuss how they are adapting and planning for the changing environment. Wednesday, June 3rd at 2pm Eastern time. The event is FREE, and space is limited. REGISTER NOW.
Policy Watch
The suspension of container deposits at retailers in Michigan has held up $50 million in bottle and can redemption and increased the number of containers not redeemed by 70 million a week, according to Tom Emmerich, chief operating officer of processor Schupan & Sons Recycling. Consumer advocates are encouraging more widespread use of reverse vending machines, which allow safer, no-contact container redemption.
Full Story: Detroit Free Press (5/18) 
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Right-to-repair movement makes progress, gains support
(Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images)
The right-to-repair movement has achieved several milestones so far this year, including the introduction of legislation in 21 states and a settlement by Apple in a French class-action lawsuit, writes Kyle Wiens, co-founder and CEO of iFixit. He notes that in the US, both Republicans and Democrats are supportive of right-to-repair measures.
Full Story: Reverse Logistics magazine (free registration) (5/2020) 
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Technology Trends
AI can make the most of data from reverse logistics
Artificial intelligence can help reverse logistics operations analyze the vast amounts of data they collect to make better decisions and predictions, writes Larry Velman, chief information officer at goTRG. He advises AI users to watch out for unreliable data and make sure they have enough data to reach the best conclusions.
Full Story: Reverse Logistics magazine (free registration) (5/2020) 
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Member Spotlight
iFixit has release a new database with repair instructions for more than 13,000 pieces of medical equipment including ventilators and anesthesia systems after two months of compiling the information. The database is free and CEO Kyle Wiens says restrictions on such information is "particularly morally fraught during a pandemic."
Full Story: Wired (tiered subscription model) (5/19) 
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RLA News
Check out our Reverse Logistics Podcasts!
Check out our Reverse Logistics Podcasts!
RLA is proud to be sponsoring the Reverse Logistics Podcast Series with Supply Chain Now Radio. Listen to hosts Scott Luton and Greg White, with RLA's Tony Sciarrotta as they discuss all things reverse logistics with invited industry experts.
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Now accepting RLA Excellence Award nominations for 2021!
Now accepting RLA Excellence Award nominations for 2021!
RLA is seeking nominations from companies and their partners to identify leaders in the Reverse Logistics industry. These awards will be presented at our 18th Annual RLA Conf & Expo in Las Vegas, in February 2021. Submit your Nominations through Nov. 30th, 2020!
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writer, playwright, Pulitzer Prize winner
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