Pallets are the supply chains key ingredient worldwide. Millions of them are used daily to transport goods from manufactures to warehouses to retailers.
Where would we be without them?
Did you know they first came into use in the 1920’s and were in widespread use by the 1940’s.
That’s nearly 100 years of use. No wonder we all have a soft spot for them.
Every year 1.5 billion pallets are manufactured worldwide, that’s an astounding 60 million cubic metres of timber. In Europe we produce 350 million, 20 million cubic metres of timber annually. (www.timcon.org)
There has been much discussion recently about the environmental impact of the traditional wooden pallet and the numbers I’ve just quoted may have set a green flashing alarm bell off in your head.
Well don’t panic. The pallet that all logistics professionals regard so fondly is actually still one of the most environmentally friendly options available.
Wooden pallets are largely made from the sub-standard off cuts from the furniture and housing industries. So rather than adding to deforestation pallet manufacture is ensuring that nothing goes to waste.
International standards for wooden packaging (ISPM15) help to protect and encourage the safe use of timber packaging worldwide.
Less than 5% of timber pallets end their life at landfill. That’s 95% of what we manufacture being recycled and reused.
Any pallets that are beyond repair can be shredded to provide wood chips for fuel.
There is also a wealth of pallet pool options that keep pallets circulating in the system and many pallet providers repair and recycle on a regular basis.
And let’s not forget the pallets greatest gift – its ability to be recycled and upcycled into some amazing objects.
I bet every single one of you has something in your home or garden that you have made from a pallet!
As this week kicked off with Blue Monday and has continued to be grey and dreary I thought it would be fun to put a smile on our faces by taking a quick peek at some of the best pallet transformations I have seen.
In at number one are these great staircases.
Followed by these two brilliant ways to organise your garage.
How about a revamp of your office space with these filing cabinets.
Or perhaps your kitchen needs a tidy.
The fact is wooden pallets are the lifeblood of our industry.
They are environmentally friendly.
They could be the most versatile recycling material out there.
And they have a very special place in all logistics professionals’ hearts.
Long live the wooden pallet!