Should We Go for Plastic, or Wooden Pallets Instead?

In the industry dealing with supply of goods, pallets used for their transport have become a subject of the heated debate – whether people who are in that line of business should go for plastic, or rather wooden ones. Some might think that it does not matter, as long as they serve their purpose well enough, however, there is a more complicated issue beneath all that.

Benefits of the Natural Material

When it comes to wooden pallets, the first, and probably most important advantage for most business owners is that they are cheap, and easy to find. Not only are they easy to make, they are also easy to repair if they damage during the transport, as mostly anyone can just pick up a couple of boards and replace the ones that are no longer adequate to be used. Moreover, when you are finished with them, you will have no problem selling them. Because they were used, you might not be able to get the same price for them as you the one you paid, but still, you can make some money of something you are no longer in need for.

imagesFrom the Ecological Point of View

What the whole world might benefit from is that wooden pallets are eco-friendly. First, when you build them, you can do it from a recycled material, and later, when you choose to throw them away, they will not be left on a dumpster yard to further pollute the Earth. You can easily take them to a recycling center, where wooden pallets will be turned into paper or mulch.

Benefits of Plastic as a Material

When it comes to plastic ones, even though they might be more expensive than wooden pallets, but they are certainly easier to get to. As there are no regulations that they need to go through while being delivered, the process goes much faster, and as they are lighter, shipping will not cost you that much. They last long, and can not damage that easily. They can be used all over the world, regardless of the climate, and they are easy to maneuver, as their shape is suitable for forklifts to pick them up. Finally, as there are no nails and splinters that you might get injured on, some might say that they are safer to use.

From the Ecological Point of View

As you already know, plastic is a 100% recyclable material, so if you do not need a pallet anymore, or it is so damaged that it can be completely dismantled and built again, you can recycle it and make a new one, without putting the environment in more danger than it is now.

Potential Problems with the Material

Both materials have a couple of negative sides to them that people should take into consideration before choosing to use one or the other.

When using pallets, they are bound to get dirty, and wooden ones are almost impossible to clean, so you risk growing different kinds of bacteria on them. Also, as wood is organic material, it destroys easily, and not only will they be almost useless at one point, you can get hurt on numerous nails and splints that will (1)

When it comes to using plastic pallets for shipping goods, not only are they much more expensive to get, but when they get damaged, trying to repair them is way too complicated, and not even worth trying to do so.

How to Decide on the Right One

After learning everything about the materials that the pallets are made of, you need look at the list of three most important factors that might influence your decision.

  • You need to know your product, and the weight of it, as plastic ones are always more suitable for heavier goods.
  • If your merchandise is fragile, then wooden pallets are the wrong choice, as they are much less stable than plastic ones.
  • Also, look at the price of different pallets, and calculate how much you are able to actually spend on them. Consider the price of the pallet itself, the shipment, but also costs of future repairs.

Finally, and most importantly, you should add one more thing to the list, and have in mind that no matter what you do, make sure that the industry is going green. Environmental problems are not to be joked with, and before you decide, take into consideration that wooden pallets are a sustainable material, meaning it can be recycled. On the other hand, if you damage a plastic one, it cannot be repaired, and as they are made of oil, the only way to recycle them is to melt them. So choose wisely and plan carefully, as you are not only shipping goods, you can be helping the planet too.

Diana Smith

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

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