While plastic pallets represent just 10 % of the total pallet market, their share is growing impressively, doubling in size over the past ten years.
The plastic option is now widely taken up in the meat and general food industry where hygiene is crucial.
And the same pattern is seen in the medical and pharmaceutical industry where the prevention of contamination is of prime importance. Plastic constructed pallets are also used in the export of general goods to avoid timber treatment regulations.
Plastic for Sustainability
A parallel and major driver in the move to plastic is the trend toward increasing sustainability throughout the supply chain.
As companies strive to become more eco-friendly, the reusable characteristic of these new-age pallets makes them increasingly attractive. And one of the plastic's environmental advantages centers on its repeated re-usability.
Here the contrast with wood is massive. Wood pallets last for somewhere between seven to 10 trips before retirement-and that lifespan includes several revamps to replace broken or missing deck boards or nails.
But switch to plastic pallets and you can realistically expect between 200 and 250 trips!
Another eco advantage is a likely cut in landfill costs. While wooden pallets can be chipped, the cost of removing metal and nails has to be factored in – a point often overlooked. But when a pallet made of plastic is retired it can be ground into resin and reformed as new.