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US ‘PalletFest’ Celebrated Upcycling With All Things Recycled Pallets

26 Mar 2015

The humble pallet plays an essential role in the safe and secure shipping of goods from one place to another, but once it has served its purpose, most of them end up in the scrap yard. In the USA alone, around four billion board feet of wooden pallets are discarded annually. A pallet is, however, incredibly versatile, and in an effort to highlight just how useful and functional a pallet can be once its original purpose has been fulfilled, a festival dedicated to upcycling pallets has proven a smash hit in America.


The PalletFest upcycling festival took place last year for the first time in Denver’s Sculpture Park. The two-day festival was said to be the first upcycling event of this nature in the USA, and its huge popularity went to prove that this event is unlikely to be a one-off occasion.

What Was PalletFest About?

The focus of PalletFest is on upcycling used pallets and transforming them into useful, functional and decorative items. With a bit of DIY know-how and an element of creativity, the event showed just how incredibly versatile the pallet can be. From furniture and plant pots to wine racks and artwork, the festival offered an inspiring and thought-provoking insight into how a scrap item can be transformed into a stylish item for the home or garden.

PalletFest also featured a pallet maze, a pallet parkour, a pallet build-off, live music, upcycled fashion shows, public art displays and refreshment facilities.

The Drive Behind PalletFest

As we are increasingly being told to recycle more and reduce wastage, events such as PalletFest can help to drive the trend for upcyling used items to create something unique from them which may have a new functional purpose or just aesthetic appeal. Upcycling has become a popular concept in interior design and DIY in recent times, as more of us strive to create individual items for the home or garden that do not put pressure on the Earth’s scarce natural resources. Since millions of pallets are thrown away each year, PalletFest provides the ideal opportunity for people to become inspired to do their bit in protecting the planet. Pallets are in plentiful supply, incredibly easy to work with and can be transformed into almost anything with a bit of imagination.

PalletFest attendees came away from the event full of inspiring ideas and the realisation that anyone can have a go at creating something unique by reinventing the humble pallet. Even if someone has never attempted any kind of repurposing project before, the festival highlighted how easy pallets are to work with even for the novice. The event also inspired attendees to think about other areas of their life where they might be able to reduce waste or recycle and get involved with other simple upcycling projects.

Global Inspiration

Even if you weren’t lucky enough to attend PalletFest, the event does provide ideas for anyone else in other countries such as the UK. Pallets are widely used all over the world, so the problem of pallet wastage is a global issue. PalletFest can offer any country that uses pallets an incentive to think before throwing them away, whilst also considering how these simple storage vessels could be turned into practical and individual items for the home and garden.

It’s a great take on how responsible use of materials is coming into play, especially in the logistics and pallets markets. Upcycling may not be on your radar, but if you have environmental concerns then using a plastic pallet, plastic container or a plastic crate could be a fantastic way to reduce your environmental impact and improve on your efficiency.

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