Is the wooden pallet industry environmentally friendly? The common answer that prevails is, no. One might even be inclined to believe that the wooden pallet industry is aiding bad environmental practices and aiding deforestation. But is all of this really true?
If we delve deeper into the topic of the wooden pallet industry not being “environmentally friendly,” one will find that this is in fact a myth that disproves itself. If the wooden pallet industry aided deforestation, then how would wooden pallet companies stay in business? The wooden pallet industry cannot deplete its own natural resources (i.e. lumber) and run a viable business at the same time.
The forests in the United States are managed much differently than they were in the past. Now lumber companies use reduced impact logging, or tree specific logging when lumbering the land. And as a result, the US commercial forests are actually growing, despite lumbering and the loss of trees due to diseases or insect predators.
Furthermore, on government-owned land, lumber companies pay to replant trees after they are done cutting to ensure a constant replenishment of trees and a continuation of ecosystems. The lumbering industry alongside the pallet manufacturing industry understands that without a continuous supply of trees to harvest, they will be out of business.
Another common myth surrounding the wooden pallet industry is, plastic pallets are better for the environment. Again, let’s look at this thought or this myth within a logical frame of reference. Wood is a renewable resource. Wooden products like wood pallets require a limited amount of energy investment. The manufacturing of a wood pallet does not require a complex chemical process with toxic byproducts-like a plastic pallet does.
Wooden pallets can be recycled, reused, and remanufactured to extend the life-span of the product. Once a plastic pallet is damaged, the life span of the product is finished. When the life span of a wooden pallet ends, the waste can still be used to make wood pellets, boiler fuel, etc. Although plastic products are useful and can be environmentally friendly, wooden pallets have a lesser environmental impact.
Wood used in such industries like the wooden pallet industry, is continually being renewed. And through science we are learning better every day how we as a society can leave less of an impact on our forests. It is important for us to remember that wood is a natural product that people have used multi-purposefully for many years. And, in many ways wood is the ideal material to use.
Stay tuned to the blog to find out what “going green” really means and how you can get in on the green revolution yourself.