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Are Plastic Pallets The Future: Revisited

23 Dec 2015

Two years ago on this blog we explored the notion of the plastic pallet being the choice of the future. Having looked at the key advantages of plastic over wooden, we predicted a general rise in plastic pallet demand. Today we look again at whether this demand really has risen and whether it will continue to rise over the coming years.

The Benefits of Plastic Pallets

The benefits of the plastic pallet continue to be as important today as they were two years ago. Plastic constructed pallets offer a level of durability that wooden ones simply don’t have; they can be left in the rain and are less likely to break without warning. In fact, a plastic pallet will on average last for fifty times as many trips as a traditional wooden pallet. They’re also more versatile and can be manufactured exactly to the needs of a certain customer. Plastic options offer a level of hygiene which wooden ones do not and can be easily cleaned too. This makes them the ideal choice for food and pharmaceutical companies, which need to adhere to a strict level of hygiene.

The Future for Plastic Pallets

Since the last article two years ago, plastic pallet demand and use has grown as part of pallet use in general. Plastic pallet use remains at around 10% of total pallet use, but there are a number of indicators that suggest this may go up. Sustainability is a key factor, and as companies look for ways to reduce energy output, choosing sustainable pallets is a sensible option. At the latest United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this month, a historic universal agreement for climate change was reached. In what is already known as the ‘Paris Agreement’, a majority of countries have decided to limit carbon emissions to the point that global warming doesn’t increase by more than two degrees compared to pre­industrial temperatures. As the pressure to choose more environmentally friendly alternatives will dominate business choices, the use of plastic over wooden pallets is surely likely to increase.

Wood vs Plastic

Plastic constructed pallets may not seem as environmentally friendly at first glance compared to a renewable material source such as wood, but they are in fact the ‘eco’ choice. They can be made from recycled plastic, and used plastic pallets can be recycled again. Their sheer longevity compared to wooden pallets also gives them better environmental credentials. According to a study conducted by Persistence Market Research, pallet demand will grow to a substantial point by 2020. It is widely thought within the industry that increased demand for plastic ones will be particularly significant within this general increase. Key factors such as cost, sustainability and stricter laws on hygiene all indicate huge growth within the plastic pallet industry

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