Secondhand Plastic Pallets
In order to get their environmental project rolling, ANG applied for and received a $75,000 StopWaste Business Waste Prevention Fund Award to purchase 1,700 reusable plastic pallets.
The project cuts labor costs by $46,000 and prevents 37 tons of wood waste a year. Reusable plastic pallets also offer many safety and performance advantages. If a wooden pallet is damaged or broken, it may collapse under a heavy load; but the durability of reusable plastic pallets improves worker safety. To improve efficiency, ANG color-coded its plastic pallets. The color-coding helps drivers know instantly which loads they are to pick up. Plus, the standardized shape makes handling and storage easier than with a fleet of mismatched wooden pallets. And finally, because workers are freed up from repairing wooden pallets, they can now focus on activities that add to customer value. Backhauling ANG’s closed distribution system makes backhauling easy. Trucks make deliveries and then pick up and return empties.
Tracking the pallets has not been a problem. Every day, the four production facilities coordinate delivery needs and existing pallet inventory. The packaging plant manager says this work hasn’t changed significantly from how it was done with the wooden pallets. The plastic pallets are hot-stamped for identification to help keep them in the system.
About Reusable Plastic Pallets
Reusable plastic pallets are often made of recycled content plastic and molded of tough, reinforced nylon. They can sustain static loads of 15 to 20 tons and are compatible with most equipment, including standard forklifts/lift trucks, standard pallet jacks/racks, and automatic palletizers. Most producers offer a fiveyear warranty, and one study shows that plastic pallets last for an average of 300 trips without any repairs. “Implementation was easy, five hours of employee training, five hours of management time.” “There is no extra work we have to do with plastic pallets that we didn’t do with wood.”
Packaging Plant Manager, ANG
The StopWaste Partnership
StopWaste is a free technical assistance service dedicated to improving the environmental performance and reducing costs of Alameda County businesses and public agencies. The program provides expert support and funding to prevent waste, conserve water and energy, and use all resources more efficiently.
The bottom line
• 125% return on investment
• $46,000 labor savings a year
• $75,000 Business Waste
Prevention Fund Award
• 37 tons of wooden pallet waste prevented
Thanks to: (https://www.stopwaste.org/docs/sw_ang_8_25.pdf)