The Environmental Impact of Wooden Pallets
There is a common debate over whether wooden pallets are a better option than plastic pallets. One important aspect to look at in this debate is the effect each option has on the environment. The state of our environment and utilizing more sustainable resources has become a major concern of the twenty-first century. Issues such as deforestation and depletion of natural resources are commonly cited reasons to lessen the use of wood in manufacturing. As it turns out, however, the use of wooden pallets is actually more positive than many might have expected. Here, we will look at the environmental impact of wooden pallets.
One of the greatest benefits of using wooden pallets is that they are recyclable. When wooden pallets get weak or break, you don’t need to throw them away. The best option is to recycle them, in which the old wood is made into new pallets in the form of pressed wood. You can even refurbish some broken pallets and put back on the market. While you can create new pallets from old ones, you can also use the wood to make furniture and other items in non-shipping related industries.
Studies over the past fifteen years have shown an increase of up to 119% more trees in the United States since 1953. This growth estimates that around 1.7 billion trees have been planted each year, making it that for every tree that is cut down, two more are planted. These statistics place the amount of hardwood timber growth being harvested around 42%. Thanks to the ability to recycle wooden pallets, as mentioned above, this has proven to be a sustainable industry. Plastic and other types of pallets have their advantages in some instances, but they are not made from sustainable resources.
The use of wooden pallets continues to help reduce the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We continue to take note of the full impact on our climate from the measurement of CO2 emitted over the course of its full lifecycle. This is known as the carbon footprint. Trees take in a certain amount of carbon during their growth phase, so half a wooden pallet’s net weight ends up being carbon. Throughout a wooden pallet’s lifespan, it stores carbon that would otherwise be released back into the atmosphere as CO2 gas. Tests have shown that reusing as few as six pallets a month can offset one car’s emissions for a whole month. The environmental impact of wooden pallets has been a major reason why they are the most common pallet choice.