Sunday, 19 November 2017
Could the Humble Wooden Pallet be a Thing of the Past?
UK – WORLDWIDE – One might imagine that with all the concerns surfacing at the moment it is perhaps not the best time to press for even wider use of plastic products. One company however is lobbying hard to promote the benefits of plastic pallets over their wooden forebears. Critics will say that wood is of course a natural product, a well-tested, recyclable product but supporters of the artificial alternative will point to the reusability, stackability and durability of the latest plastic models, plus of course the fact that in many modern markets, the requirement for treated dunnage in freight containers and trailers to avoid an invasion by non-indigenous species renders the use of plastic as a simple guarantee of sterility.
It is a sign of the growing acceptance of the new medium in that a video just released by Eastbourne located goplasticpallets.com to illustrate the benefits of their products comes from a company whose own parentage is that of nearby headquartered All Pallets Ltd., which claims to be the UK's leading supplier of wooden pallets, wooden crates & pallet boxes. Now the company’s new film attempts to convince viewers that wood is a medium of the past when it comes to the humble pallet. Managing director Jim Hardisty says:
”We wanted to create more than just your bog standard corporate video [and] produce an emotive video that demonstrates how far the pallet industry has progressed in the last decade alone. The design and development of different sizes and styles of plastic pallets suit an ever growing range of applications it’s reusable and much more versatile; it’s light, nestable and exportable. Once the new neighbour, plastic pallets are now a first choice for many logistics and supply chain professionals.”
Supporters of the traditional medium will say modern practices see trees replaced as a matter of course in many countries and stress that even quite badly damaged pallets can be repaired. This however depends on the willingness of the user to commit to recycling and there is little doubt that many pallets finish their days either in landfill or being burnt. Without a proper study it is impossible to judge which is the more ecological alternative but, in the right circumstances, plastic pallets certainly seem to be a logical option from a commercial perspective.