Tree Frog Forestry News

Seven Alternative Pallets for Greener Operations

By Sara Pearson Specter
Modern Materials Handling
June 11, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

As more companies take a closer look at improving their sustainability practices, pallet usage has come under increased scrutiny. While Virginia Tech researchers found that 95% of wooden pallets are recycled domestically, an estimated 50% of the annual U.S. hardwood harvest is dedicated to their production. Although reforestation efforts have achieved a ratio of two new trees planted for each one harvested, it still takes years for new plantings to reach maturity. Further, the ability to reuse plastic pallets hundreds of times over is frequently cited as a reason to invest in them. Yet they too have potential drawbacks, including cost, their hydrocarbon material source and the energy required to mold each pallet. To address these concerns, several manufacturers are responding with pallets made from alternative materials or hybrid combinations of typical materials. These unique pallets offer a variety of sustainability advantages—and other benefits—explored in this article.

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