VINELAND, N.J. — To hear the claims that wooden pallet producers have clear cut, raped and pillaged their way through America’s old growth virgin forests, stripping them of trees, leaving them bald and naked. Sounds like a horror movie. Scary, but fictitious. According to Michael Smith, C.O.O. of PALNET, a nationwide supplier of wooden pallets, “It’s time to set the record straight because exactly the opposite is true.”
Smith explained the production process wooden pallets are made from and how they contribute to sound forest initiatives that actually reduce the waste stream that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The sustainability story of wooden pallets has congressional recognition. The U.S. Congress has recognized the wood used in pallets by passing Resolution 81 which states officially that hardwoods are an abundant, sustainable and a renewable bio-based resource that is critical to reducing the carbon footprint of the U.S. as a net absorber of carbon. In addition, a recent study by the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products at Virginia Tech and the USDA states that only 0.2 percent of broken pallets are landfilled.
Wooden pallets are not made from virgin woods, but from the unusable trim of the lumbering process, the parts that get “squared off” at the sawmill. Smith went on to explain that when forests are sustainably managed, new trees are replanted for all those that are harvested. Thus reforestation and restoration is what is actually taking place.
Plastic pallets, on the other hand, are created from a long, dirty and energy intensive process that begins in an oil well, needs to be transported long distances, and goes through a carbon heavy and pollution causing manufacturing process.
According to Smith, “When you pass a plastics plant, and see and smell those dirty smokestacks spewing pollutants into the air, the green story seems to end right there. Plastic can be green in color only.”
Conscious lumbering techniques have long been a proud and necessary industry in America, providing materials and employment to thousands of workers and thousands of industries, including furniture, construction and home building. Wooden pallet manufacturing is an environmental win-win because it repurposes waste instead of creating it.
For more information on PALNET, visit www.palnentusa.com or call 1-877-PALNET-1.