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Plastic Pallets Offering Significant Savings

26 Aug 2014

A number of companies are making significant savings through the introduction of plastic pallets and reusable packaging. Recently, two companies have received recognition from the Reusable Packaging Association for their “measurable and significant cost and environmental savings” after doing just that.

Praise for Businesses

One of these businesses is Svenska Retursystem, which is based in the Swedish city of Stockholm. Svenska Retursystem led the development of a common pool for over 200 businesses, including Swedish producers of food and European manufacturers which produce goods for export to the Swedish food industry.

Part of the programme has seen the introduction of large numbers of plastic pallets and crates for the delivery of goods to stores. The RPA reported that since the programme began in 2001, the reusable plastic crates have had over a billion uses. By being reusable and durable, these crates and pallets have not only significantly reduced the amount of waste going to landfill, but also cut costs considerably as they rarely need replacing.

Similar cost savings and eco-friendly advantages were seen by California’s Full Belly Farm, the other business to earn the recognition of the Reusable Packaging Association recently. Previously, the company used thousands of waxed cardboard boxes for the delivery and transportation of goods. Last summer, they replaced these with just 2000 plastic totes which are fully reusable and include attached lids. The farm delivers produce weekly to individual families in the totes, with each tote being left one week and then collected for reuse the next.

Once again, the introduction of reusable plastic packaging for transport has resulted in significant cost savings. A much smaller number of individual packages are now being kept, and they are durable enough to rarely need replacing. Cardboard packaging, by contrast, is easily damaged and vulnerable to environmental conditions that leave plastic packaging almost untouched, such as rain. The plastic totes also provide better protection for the goods inside, as the plastic is harder and less flexible.

Cost-Effective and Practical Pallets

This pattern is seen over and over again by businesses that adopt plastic pallets, crates and reusable packaging. This is perhaps easiest to see when plastic crates are compared to comparatively flimsy cardboard boxes, but it is also very much the case when plastic pallets are compared to their seemingly sturdy wooden counterparts.

Wooden pallets are often reusable, just as plastic ones are. But while they will certainly outlive cardboard boxes, they still have a significantly shorter lifespan than plastic versions. Plastic pallets are solid and have no such structural weaknesses.

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