Plastic Pallet Buyers: How to Be the Responsible Buyer

When discovering new ways to become a responsible plastic pallet buyer, it can feel overwhelming to consider not only how your decisions impact your business’ budget, but to reflect on how your decisions affect the environment. Have you considered how switching from wood to plastic pallets can help? In the content below, we explore how being the responsible buyer involves plastic pallets as it offers three budgetary and environmental benefits.

Being the Responsible Buyer: 3 Benefits of Buying Plastic Pallets

Whether your company is early in the startup phase or deep in corporate locations, clients and customers watch what you do and often voice their opinions in response. This is especially true when they feel as though your decision was not for the betterment of the environment.

Below, we explore the three benefits of being the responsible buyer in terms of overall expenses and your environmental footprint.

#1. Reduced Total Overhead Costs: Utilizing Multi-Trip, Plastic Pallets

Calculating your Return on Shipping

Plastic pallets are the more environmentally friendly option when considering shipping expenses and processes. Any method your company uses to ship products produces CO2 emissions, a huge contributing factor to environmental issues.

However, because wood pallets are much heavier (between 30 and 70 pounds) than the plastic alternative, your company must resort to shipping less product per shipment. This means you not only spend more in costs to ship out the same amount of product, but you also produce more CO2 emissions.

On the other hand, plastic pallets weigh as little as 3-15 pounds for the most lightweight models, and heavier models only weigh about 30 pounds. As a result, the bulk of your shipment’s weight comes from the product, not the pallet.

Therefore, your company can make the best use of each shipment because the pallet weight does not affect the overall total as much. Furthermore, you reduce the output of both shipments and CO2 emissions.

Reusing What you Have to Save on Supply Chain Cost

Reuse your storage and shipping pallets for an instant reduction in supply chain costs. As a benefit to being the responsible buyer in purchasing plastic pallets, you will find that they are also easy to clean for reuse! Because they do not absorb any dirt, harsh chemicals, or food, plastic pallets will not grow mold or retain dangerous liquids.

In the event they do become dirty, plastic pallets are easy to clean with soap and water or the use of a pressure washer. Besides basic sanitization, plastic pallets do not have any heat treatment requirements. Alternatively, wood pallets must be heat treated for export based on ISPM-15 regulations and pass inspections, events that add to supply chain cost.

#2. The Bigger Picture: Enhancing Sustainability and Eliminating Waste

With climate change and environmental issues dominating headlines, many businesses are looking for ways to make themselves more sustainable. For businesses that rely on shipping, this can seem daunting. However, there are still ways to do this without sacrificing efficiency or budget constraints.

Reducing Time and Resources Allocated to Production

Although the concept appears contradictory, the creation of plastic pallets serves as a much more sustainable solution when compared to how wood pallets are made. After cutting down the trees required for lumber, the lumber still needs to be manufactured into wood pallets.

Raw lumber requires heat treatment before it can be used for pallets transporting food, pharmaceutical products, or for international shipment to avoid bringing any non-native insects or bacteria to a foreign country or into a clean environment. Additionally, chemical treatment is often used to prevent mold for raw lumber. This can damage our natural resources and environment, especially when a wood pallet is not processed correctly or disposed of properly.

Although we are not ignoring the environmental impact brought by plastic pallet manufacturing, they still require less time and fewer natural resources to create. The biggest cost in plastic pallet production is energy use. However, energy can come from sustainable sources, like solar or wind, leaving a much smaller environmental impact during creation.

Eliminating Waste and Preventing Landfill Buildup

Because wood pallets require frequent replacement, they generate an exponential amount of waste. A good wood pallet can last up to seven trips if properly handled and cared for between shipments. Even for companies with average shipping demands, this is not sustainable. As a result, companies must continually purchase new wood pallets, putting a strain on their finances. Additionally, this cycle creates an unnecessary amount of waste.

When disposing wood pallets, your company will most likely have to pay for them to be picked up and transported to landfills. This will vary depending on how far away your company is from the nearest disposing site. However, it is another expense you should factor into your budget if you intend to use wood pallets.

#3. Durability and Longevity: Choosing Plastic Pallets vs Wood Pallets

Evaluating the Lifespan of Each Product

Although wood pallets are cheaper upfront than plastic alternatives, this is quickly offset by wood pallets’ lack of durability. As aforementioned, wood pallets last, on average, seven trips. The lifespan may be shorter if the pallets break during transport and cannot be reused.

Conversely, plastic pallets are far more durable. They last as many as 250 trips before being dangerous or otherwise unusable. As a result, you will not have to restock your pallet inventory as often, allowing you to get the most out of your pallets over a much longer period.

Even if your company does not realize the full life span of the plastic pallet, that pallet will continue to be utilized as a used plastic pallet. This will reduce the total number of pallets that are being sent to landfills each year.

Additionally, by being the responsible buyer in buying plastic pallets also helps offset the upfront cost of plastic pallets, ranging anywhere from $7 to around $150 for the heaviest duty pallet options. Therefore, a plastic pallet’s longevity makes it a better choice for both the environment and your wallet when compared to wood pallets.

Protecting the Life of the Forest: Wood Pallet Waste and Deforestation

Resources on this earth are incredibly finite, and it is crucial that we do our best to preserve and protect what nature offers.

Another negative environmental impact brought by wood pallet waste is deforestation. Since wood pallets are widely used and replaced, the demand remains high and there is only one place to go: the trees. Wood pallets represent a jaw-dropping 50% of America’s hardwood consumption annually. This amount excludes any wood imported from other countries, including Canada.

As a responsible buyer, it is wise to consider protecting the life of the forest by eliminating your contribution to deforestation as much as possible. We share the earth with everyone and everything. By switching from wood pallets to plastic pallets, you can drastically reduce your environmental footprint.

Being the Responsible Buyer with Plastic Pallet Pros

Investing in new or used plastic pallets can prove to be a great decision for your company after considering the value in overall expenses, common availability, and environmental impact. Finding a trustworthy manufacturer and distributor to supply your plastic pallet needs helps make the process much easier.

At Plastic Pallet Pros, our experts will guide you in determining the exact plastic pallets needed for your company’s projects or shipments by looking at our current supply to see what we have readily available in our warehouse. 

Contact us today to see how we can help with your pallet needs!