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The sustainable benefits of moving to plastic

15 May 2022

Find out more about the sustainable benefits of moving to plastic pallets for food industry applications. 

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Plastic pallets claim to offer the best combination of value, durability, and choice. Increasingly over the last few years, has seen many of its customers switching to plastic to ensure that they are able to realise the sustainable benefits too.

One of the main advantages of employing plastic pallets is the increase in operational efficiency and longevity. Users can benefit from a plastic pallet’s strength, dimensional consistency, minimal deflection, and long lifespan – most plastic pallets will lasting over 10 times longer than wood pallets.

The same plastic pallet can be used multiple times, with the benefit that it can also be cleaned to a high standard.  Further, at the end of its lifecycle a plastic pallet can be recycled – turning  the ‘used’ into the ‘useful’ once more.

Recently, supplied a reusable plastic pallet solution to a major UK food manufacturer that was looking for a pallet capable of handling bulk dried ingredients, up to 2000kg in weight, in a new, state-of-the-art raw materials warehouse. 

The company required a pallet that could be used within a new semi-automated high density storage system that retrieves and puts away pallets within a specially designed rack structure. This helped the company to optimise space, increase efficiency and it also helped with stock rotation. The pallet, of course, also needed to adhere to the Food Contact Materials Regulation (EC) 1935/2004.

A successful trial
After a successful trial, recommended its APB 1210 Super Pool 5R pallet in virgin grade high quality polypropylene material. This heavy-duty pallet is of the highest specification, offering minimal deflection under load, with a proven track record for long-term use in multi-trip supply chain scenarios. 

This is an ideal pallet for use within many food applications. The structure of the pallet is designed  to have no dirt traps. Both the top and underside of the pallet deck and runners are smooth and radiused with no sharp edges. This pallet is also easy to wash and dry in a fully automatic pallet wash machine, which was an important element in this application where the pallet needs to be washed frequently to ensure compliance with the internal GMP (good manufacturing practices) demanded of the food manufacturing sector. 

For use in its raw material warehouse the company purchased almost 2,400 pallets initially and later added a further 400 to help it cope with of business growth. 

This food business can have complete peace of mind knowing that, over the next decade or longer, it will not have to replace its plastic pallets knowing that they will perform as expected, providing a profitable return-on-investment. Then, at the end of their long working life, the plastic pallets will be collected and fully recycled to create the next wave of sustainable pallets.

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