Corrugated Paper Pallets:
The Green Alternative to Wood Pallets
It’s inevitable. Drive by a handful of nearby manufacturing facilities and you are practically guaranteed to see wood pallets stacked up somewhere on the premises. Not only are discarded wooden pallets an eye-sore, our friends at ChangethePallet.Org consider them “an environmental catastrophe,”citing that in the US alone there are over 2 billion in circulation and another 400 million entering the US each year.¹
Many companies are doing everything they can to implement lean operating practices, reduce their carbon footprint, go green and make conscientious decisions to maximize their profits while also taking care of the environment and their surrounding communities and keeping things cost effective. Switching away from wood and metal pallets can be an important, and often overlooked, step in those green initiatives.
How can switching to corrugated pallets help?
Corrugated Pallets are Made from Recycled Material.
Paper pallets are made from corrugated cardboard, which is constructed mostly from recycled paper board. Reputable corrugated pallet manufacturers work with suppliers certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standards and can provide an “Eco Certificate” which shows their compliance to the SFI standards. The most recent of which is the SFI 2015 - 2019 Certified Sourcing Standard.
LoadRunner® corrugated pallets are made from 80-100% Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified materials.
Corrugated Pallets Are 100% Recyclable
Made with Corrugated Paper
Not only are corrugated pallets recyclable, businesses can earn recycling revenue by setting up recovery services with an OCC recycler in the area. Many recyclers pay per ton and the rates depend upon the type of paper/material being recycled. The average recycling pay rate for corrugated pallets ranges from $50 - $100 per ton. Companies can take advantage of these services by combining other types of recycling recovery such as plastic, aluminum and other materials.
Unlike corrugated paper pallets, wood pallet recycling/recovery services often require haul-away fees in many cases, especially for non-standard sizes that are not easy to resell or re-purpose. These pallets sit around gathering bacteria, mold, fungus, insects and vermin until there are enough pallets accumulated to fill a truckload.
Corrugated Pallets are 100% Biodegradable
We, of course, encourage customers to recycle and some companies are even able to use corrugated pallets more than once before doing so, but the good news is that most paper pallets are 100% biodegradable, including the adhesive used in the manufacture of the pallet.
Corrugated Pallets Don’t Require Chemical Fumigation or Heat Treatment
The adhesive and raw materials used in the manufacture of corrugated pallets comply with phyto-sanitary ISPM regulations governing export shipments. In addition, corrugated pallets are free from mold, bacteria and other contaminants often associated with wooden pallets, making them exempt from fumigation or heat treatment needed when exporting wooden pallets.
Although wood pallets made in the US, Canada and Europe are no longer allowed to use chemical treatment (methyl bromide), it is possible to run across pallets still in circulation that have been MB treated. Methyl bromide is highly toxic and has been proven to adversely affect the ozone layer so check the labeling on your pallets for “MB” before handling, reusing or disposing of them.²
Corrugated Pallets Reduce Your Annual Carbon Emissions
Corrugated pallets are lightweight, averaging 8-15 pounds compared to the average weight of 30-70 pounds for a wooden pallet. When you consider the initial shipment of empty pallets in combination with the weight of your outgoing product on wooden pallets, switching to corrugated pallets can make a significant impact on the reduction of carbon emissions. Not to mention, corrugated pallets can be customized to fit your product more precisely and are not as tall as a wooden pallet, which may allow you to get more product per truckload/cargo load—further contributing to a reduction in shipping costs and fuel use.
Start 2019 on the right carbon footprint! If going green is on your to-do list, consider whether corrugated pallets are right for you and your suppliers. Learn more about corrugated pallets in our eBook “Everything You Need to Know about Paper Pallets.”
In a world where consumer reviews, employee tweets and social posts more transparently drive awareness of the truth in corporate practices, consumers and decision makers take to the internet to shop for the best companies with whom to align themselves—and they are digging deeper than the corporate website to do so.
If your company is making efforts to move your supply chain in the green direction there may be an often-overlooked alternative sitting right at your back door.
1. ChangethePallet.Org (2015, August 20). How Changing the Pallet Can Change the Planet. Retrieved from https://www.changethepallet.org/blog/how-changing-the-pallet-can-change-the-planet
2. Anon. How to Tell if a Wood Pallet is Safe for Reuse. Retrieved from https://www.1001pallets.com/pallet-safety/