Go green with your pallets
About 18million pallets are used by the construction industry each year and currently only about 10% are re-used, says a new scheme called The Pallet Loop that aims to encourage re-use of pallets by charging a refundable deposit for them.
The Pallet Loop is on a mission to change the way pallets are used with its green (literally) pallets becoming available later this year.
Some companies, including Marshalls, Sisk, Countryside, Tobermore and the Wolseley Group, have already signed The Pallet Loop’s charter committing to at least exploring how a circular economy pallet scheme could benefit their businesses, the environment, and the UK construction industry as a whole.
The Pallet Loop’s scheme starts with the supply of its green pallets to product manufacturers, who pay a deposit per pallet plus an issue fee.
As the pallets move through the supply chain, the deposit passes down the distribution chain to the builder.
Once the products have been taken off the pallets, the pallets are stacked ready for collection, which can be arranged on The Pallet Loop website or app, or by phone, although it is going to be a least 72 hours before they are collected, which might be an issue on sites where space is tight.
There is also a collection charge, which is where the scheme might fall down, even though The Pallet Loop says it will be less than putting the pallets in a skip and is offset by the refunded deposit paid when the skips go back into the system.
Phil Dent, CEO at The Pallet Loop, says the industry has to work together on sustainability to drive change. “As we move towards the roll out of our green pallets later this year, we look forward to continuing our work with all of our signatories, wider industry stakeholders and trade associations.”
Commenting on Marshalls’ reasons for signing The Pallet Loop charter, John Davies, Sustainability Improvement Director at Marshalls PLC, says: “As well as focusing on achieving net zero by 2030, we’re always looking at ways to reduce our waste and recycle more, and a circular approach to our pallet use is something we’re very interested in exploring.”
Sarah-Jane Davies, Sustainability Manager for UK & Group Civils at John Sisk & Son Ltd, says The Pallet Loop supports the company’s strategic objective to embed circular economy principles into its operations by 2023 as part of its 2030 ‘Sustainability Roadmap’.