Rather than produce all pallets from new lumber, the wooden pallet industry recycles hundreds of millions of pallets every year! The question is just how many trees are theoretically saved each year by recycling these pallets?
- Estimations from the Department of Forestry indicate that nearly 2 billion pallets are in service.
- 400-450 million pallets are produced annually from new lumber.
- 350+ million pallets each year are recovered and resold to pallet users.
- Less than 1% of recovered pallets go into landfills, most recovered pallets are reused or turned into other products such as mulch.
The amount of lumber used in a standard 48 x 40 GMA pallet is 15.17 board feet of lumber on a gross scale.
For a 10’ log with a small end diameter of 14”, the board footage in that log is 63 BF.
If we take 63 feet of lumber from a log and divide it by 15.17 BF needed for the pallet we can build just over 4 pallets from each log.
By then taking the 350,000,000 pallets recovered each year and dividing it by 4 pallets per log, we see that around 87,000,000 logs that have been used to produce these pallets. If we are able to get two logs from every tree, we would then save 43.5 million trees each year.
By recycling 350 million pallets a year, we can save around 43.5 million trees that would be required to produce these pallets. Without this recycling effort, raw material costs would greatly increase and the supply of available lumber would quickly diminish.
By recycling pallets each year, fewer trees are used for pallet production. Would a pallet recovery and return program work for your company to reduce costs and improve the performance of your pallets? Leave me a comment below with your ideas, I’d be glad to help.
Post by: Jonathan Haynes, Regional Sales Manager