Case Study: Wood Pallets vs Plastic Pallets

April 3, 2017

Wood has a negative footprint because of the carbon dioxide fixed by the original living tree but has a relatively short life once converted to a pallet

Plastic pallets have a definite advantage when it comes to lifespan – they are more durable, less prone to damage from the weather or chemical spillage and do not have weak points at the joins

The transportation phase of the life cycle is where plastic pallets demonstrate the most significant environmental benefits compared to the pooled wooden pallet – primarily because of the plastic pallet’s ability to make many more trips per pallet lifetime as well as its 35% lighter weight

The average lifespan for a reusable wooden pallet is 7 to trips. Plastic pallets, on the other hand, can make 200-250 trips before being recycled.

Analysis based upon 1,000 pallets:

Using a plastic pallet for 1000 pallet trips will use 30% less carbon in the distribution cycle and has a reduced carbon per load than a wooden equivalent by a similar amount.