VINELAND, N.J. — The pallet industry has begun to promote green and with that, environmental claims are sprouting up everywhere, cautions PALNET. A 2008 study conducted by Price Waterhouse found that consumers only believe 16 percent of environmental claims. There’s a good reason why. Of 1,753 environmental claims researched last year, all but one were either false or misleading, according to the State of Green Business report.
Similar practices seem to be taking place in the pallet industry. Last month, a supplier of plastic pallets made an environmental claim based on the 100 percent recyclability of the plastic used in their pallets. According to Michael Smith, C.O.O. of PALNET, a national supplier of pallets, “That claim didn’t take into account that plastic begins its life in an oil well, gets transported in an oil tanker like the Exxon Valdez; and, according to the EPA, plastic production plants have a heavy carbon footprint.” Smith adds, “It’s true that plastic can be recycled, but it rarely is. That’s why so much of it is growing old in landfills all across America.”
What’s more, to make plastic pallets meet necessary fire retardant standards, a chemical called deca-bromine is used. The FDA recently issued a warning that this chemical can leach into the food supply it’s carrying.
Other pallet companies have raised their green flag as well. One website features a carbon footprint calculator where you can input facts and figures to determine your carbon footprint — including how many dump trucks of waste are saved when measured against one-way pallets.
“What’s a one-way pallet?” asks Smith, a 30-year veteran of the pallet industry, “There’s no such thing.” A one-way pallet would have to be a pallet that gets delivered, used just once, never reclaimed, repaired or recycled and gets unloaded and tossed into a landfill. Wooden pallets almost never make one-way trips. They get delivered, picked up, inspected, repaired, reused, and when no longer viable, get ground up into garden mulch or stove pellets.
Smith concludes, “Companies that are striving to be environmental need to be able to rely on the claims their suppliers make to be true and accurate. If not, everyone suffers, the environment included.”
For more information on PALNET and its environmentally-friendly pallets and services, visit http://www.PALNETUSA.com or call 1-877-PALNET-1.