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Video Blog: Wood vs. Corrugated Pallets: Sustainability Comparison

Posted by Daniel Beighle on May 15,2019

Sustainability Benefits of a Corrugated Pallet when Compared to a Wood Pallet

The definition of sustainability is the “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” Let’s look at the sustainability of a corrugated pallet as compared to that of a wood pallet.

Renewable Materials

Corrugated pallets are made from 75 – 90% recycled material. The glue used in corrugated pallets is a starch glue, and is made from renewable natural carbohydrates derived from roots, tubers and seeds of plants like maize, potatoes, wheat, rice and tapioca.

Wood pallets are made from virgin lumber (also known as “trees”) as well as nails, screws, and staples. These fasteners are manufactured from non-renewable raw materials like steel and aluminum.


Even though wood pallets are more durable for reuse, a study by Peerless Media Research Group indicates that only 30% of wood pallets are used more than six times. In this same survey, 42% of the respondents either didn’t consider using, or didn’t know about pallet recovery or pallet rental services. Simply put: reuse is not always a strong factor when selecting pallets.


Corrugated pallets are easy to recycle and can be baled with corrugated boxes. This makes them easy to integrate into current housekeeping procedures. In addition, where many companies have to pay for wood pallet recovery and haul-away services, recycling centers will collect and pay for recyclable paper. This allows companies to monetize the use of corrugated pallets.

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Emissions Reduction

Let’s not forget about fuel consumption, which we covered in a previous comparison. Once again, transportation for corrugated pallets consumes less fuel per truckload than with heavier wood pallets, making corrugated the more sustainable and eco-friendly option.

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Tags: Pallets

Daniel Beighle

Daniel Beighle

Design Engineer and Quality Coordinator at Conitex Sonoco