Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Use Pallets that Reduce Carbon Footprint

The use of pallets remains at the heart of logistics operations such as transport and warehousing. While wooden pallets are definitely the most common to find in many places, there is a growing concern about their use contributing to environmental risks that can otherwise be avoided. Pallets made of other materials especially metals and plastics are increasingly becoming better options.

Your company can significantly reduce its carbon footprint by replacing wooden pallets with non-wood pallets. Wooden materials used in making pallets have greatly contributed to the problem of deforestation. The pallets made of wood will definitely not last long and soon end up at landfills together with traces of chemicals used for treatments in warehouses. Such pallets cannot be recycled and that also partly explains why there is shortage of pallets required for material handling as well as distribution of finished products to retail outlets. Even the weight associated with wood increases the amount of fuel consumed during transportation thus more emissions of greenhouse gases.

Depending on your material or product handling requirements whether at a warehouse or during transportation, you should choose metal pallets or plastic pallets. These pallets offer by far more benefits in many ways compared to wooden pallets. You get more durable pallets that can handle more weights thus more efficiency in your operations. Pallets made of aluminum or plastic have the advantage of being recycled into new ones while ensuring consistent quality. That significantly reduces waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. Metal and plastic materials are molded utilizing modern technology into lightweight pallets of any desired size and features that further enhance handling efficiency for the best practices in warehousing, shipping or transport operations.

Wooden pallets are of inferior quality compared to metal or plastic pallets that can increase many times the weight of materials or goods handled. They are also easy to clean and meet high hygienic requirements demanded in some industries especially those dealing with foods and medicines. Stainless steel pallets for instance will be commonly used in hospitals, restaurants and similar environments where hygienic operations are given great priority. Although wooden pallets will still continue to be used for the foreseeable future, without strict use they can increase risks in many ways. Wood in some conditions will facilitate growth of harmful bacteria, while if some chemicals are used for treatment will pose risks to the environment.

With the voice to reduce carbon footprint growing louder and not only for business organizations but individuals as well, it is important to replace your wooden pallets with metal pallets or plastic pallets. This will definitely present significant cost savings over the long-term as you wouldn’t need frequent replacements. International shipment requirements are also increasingly discouraging use of wooden pallets and therefore making informed choices when buying pallets is necessary.

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