Choosing Plastic Pallets – Virgin or Recycled Materials?
12 May 2015
Though first introduced in the 1960s, plastic pallets took a while to gain acceptance, largely because they were much more expensive than traditional wooden pallets. Over the past decade, however, the popularity of plastic pallets has soared. This is because they are stronger and very durable, lasting between 50 and 500 trips. The best wooden ones can only be used between 10 and 50 times, and then only if they are of the highest quality.
However, it is important to understand that the performance of a plastic pallet depends on the nature of the material from which it is made. The material has to be tailored to its application.
Cleaning and Reuse
Plastic pallets can be cleaned easily before reuse and repaired if they have minor faults. But if they are damaged badly, they have to be discarded or disposed of. The plastic material is mixed with other scrap plastic and shredded, then melted and later used to produce new pallets through an extrusion process.
Competition in the pallets market has increased demand for such recycled plastic pallets. However, these pallets are less durable than those made from virgin resins. Once again, the application is crucial.
Types of Virgin Plastic Materials
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is the most commonly used material to make plastic pallets because of its high impact resistance and great tensile strength. It is highly resistant to corrosion and does not absorb moisture. It can be handled often over a period of several years.
Polypropylene is a similar material to HDPE but is more rigid and harder. It functions at higher temperatures than HDPE and is also more expensive. Polypropylene is the recommended material for pallets that need to hold great weights or be racked in a warehouse.
Both of these materials can be recycled to produce a composite resin that combines the advantages of both original materials at a lower cost. The final product is durable and reasonably priced but not as strong as one made from virgin resins. This is because the recycling process affects the molecular structure of the polymers. There could be significant variations in the material’s properties just within one pallet unit.
The most economic type of plastic pallet is one made from a wide variety of plastic scrap – this is called an advanced composite material (ACM). This recycled plastic blend produces a very brittle final product that may not sustain multiple reuse. It is essentially an “export” pallet that is used for just one trip. Its cost is comparable to that of wooden pallets.
When choosing a particular variety of plastic pallet, it is important to match it to the goods it will hold and the number of trips the pallets are expected to make. Buying a cheap recycled “export” pallet may seem an economic option but could be costly in the long run.
New Plastic Pallets
We have a wide selection of new plastic pallets, which have been designed to be long-lasting and reusable. Available in three different sizes, including euro, non-standard, and standard, these pallets can be delivered to our customers all across the UK. From lightweight to heavy weight, you’ll be able to find plastic pallets that are suitable for your needs. Require a bespoke size? Then get in touch with us today using the quick quote option.
Used Plastic Pallets
The used plastic pallets we have available have been carefully refurbished to our high standards. Most of the used pallets are stock items, which are available for delivery throughout the UK. A benefit to used pallets is that they are usually around 60% cheaper than new pallets. Used plastic pallets are available in the following sizes; euro, non-standard and standard. Should you have any questions relating to our used plastic pallets, you can get in touch with our team today at 02380 667 999 or via the online contact form.
Plastic Pallets Recycling
Have unused plastic pallets in need of recycling? At Plastic Pallets, we offer a recycling service that allows us to collect pallets all across the UK. Being a sustainable company and leading the example within the industry of environmentally friendly methods is important to us. After contacting our team using the online form on this page, we can arrange a date with our customers to come and collect the plastic pallets. After collection, the plastic pallets will be taken back to our facility, where they’ll be assessed to either be refurbished or broken down into plastic pellets. To find out more about our pallet recycling service, click here.
Plastic Pallet Prices
Are you interested in purchasing our new or used plastic pallets? Then use our simple secure checkout system today. Add the type and quantity of pallets you’d like to your cart and select the proceed to checkout service option. You’ll be able to choose your preferred payment method, and if you are a UK customer, you could opt for a next-day delivery, if you make the order before noon.