Many solutions have been explored over the years to find environmentally sound ways of producing industrial pallets. The traditional wooden pallets have been under scrutiny by vehicle and fleet owners because of the many problems they present on the road.
For the uninitiated, virtually every product you purchase today in any type of store was probably at one time transported on a pallet. Most pallets are made of wood but can also be made of plastic or metal.
In line with the South African government's instruction for companies to find environmentally friendlier solutions to reduce their carbon footprint, Extruwood's custom-built plastic pallets offer vehicle and fleet owners the triple bottom line of environmental compliance in supporting recycling, assisting in the preservation of South Africa's dwindling wood reserves, and perhaps most importantly, massive cost savings over the longer term due to the durability of the product.
Plastic pallets are recyclable
A number of factors come into play when comparing plastic to wooden pallets. Plastic pallets are 100% recyclable. In theory, plastic pallets need never end up in the landfill that it originated from as plastic bottle caps and other high-density polyethylene containers. Conversely, wooden pallets have a much shorter life span, damage and warp easily, and the production puts immense pressure on our country's wood reserves.
Most wooden pallets must be replaced or repaired after limited use and yet millions of trees are felled each year for pallet production. Most of these pallets end up in landfills, burnt, or as scrap litter. Plastic pallets are easily sanitised, have high odour resistance, a much longer service life span, durability and offer enhanced product protection, thus saving on transportation, pilferage and labour costs, and making them safer and 'greener'.
Susceptible to contamination
Wooden pallets are susceptible to bacterial and chemical contamination, rendering them unreliable for fleet companies transporting food and other sensitive product lines. Heat treatment of wooden pallets, required to prevent the transfer of plant pests from one country to another, adds to the burden of CO2 emissions.
"No longer is it necessary to constantly repair and replace wooden pallets that are easily damaged," says Kamal Diaite, business manager at Extruwood. "Plastic pallets have been designed to meet the most exacting demands of logistics and warehouse operators - being incredibly tough and durable. They do not deteriorate in any weather conditions, and are ideal for cold storage situations, especially for food items."
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