Plastic pallets: the top choice for fresh produce

Food hygiene concerns shift pallet purchasing trends as food manufacturers choose plastic

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With a wider choice than ever in produce pallets, the move away from those produced from wood and towards plastic pallets is most evident. But what advantages can plastic pallets offer over their wooden counterparts?

They are certainly a cleaner, safer and more robust alternative, with some of the following qualities:

• More Hygienic – plastic pallets are made to be water-resistant and allow for high-pressure cleaning in between uses, minimising the risk of infestation, odour, dust, or mould growth.

• More Durable and Flexible – the optimal loading capabilities of plastic pallets keeps fresh produce well protected and economises storage space and transportation far better than its wood equivalent.

• More Economical – under standard handling and loading conditions, the typical lifespan of the plastic pallet is estimated at 10 years; significantly longer than a wood pallet. While the initial cost might be higher, the return on this investment throughout the plastic pallet’s working life is greater.

• Safer – Being free from nails and jagged edges, the risks of handling injuries along the supply chain with a plastic pallet are greatly reduced.

• Greener – while wooden pallets pose a threat to forestry, plastic pallets, which are frequently made from recyclable materials, clearly are a more sustainable option.

With its low cost per unit, our CleanPal pallet was designed with these potential benefits over a wooden pallet alternative in mind.

Produced from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), CleanPal is washable and, therefore more hygienic. With the constant threat of harmful foodborne pathogens being a major concern in food logistics, food manufacturers do not want to use wood pallets. We have found that plastic pallets, such as CleanPal, are becoming their go-to option. As CleanPal is resistant to moisture, weak acids and alkalis, it is suitable for use in other industries that depend on contaminant-free transportation too, including the pharmaceuticals industry.

CleanPal’s innovative, nestable capability means that our plastic pallets can fit neatly inside one another for increased stackability. We found that this is important in space-limited retail environments as well as being beneficial for both the efficient transportation and return of empty pallets. In fact, up to 3 times more pallets can be accommodated on one lorry load compared with a wood pallet equivalent. The lower transport effort per unit makes for substantial reductions in fuel cost and a lower carbon footprint too!

What’s more, the CleanPal deck features marked moulded locations with recessed grooves so that it can lock in place the crates that are being transported. The improved stability of crates when placed on the plastic pallet CleanPal means that all contents remain well-protected whilst in transit. Designed to be compatible with our Polynest line of stackable crates for food products, this is a key feature for food manufacturers aiming to eliminate damage to spoilable, fresh produce on its way to stores.

Produced with large strength to density ratio, plastic pallets are overall less susceptible to degradation over time and at half the weight of a wood equivalent, it is possible to be lifted by just one person. We have found that the production of CleanPal at a consistent dimension of 1200 x 1000 x 162mm (ensured by the fact that they are manufactured in highly polished moulds) is also appealing to those that need to account for precise loading calculations.

Intrigued and swayed to try a switch towards a cleaner and cost-effective alternative for fresh produce transportation too?

For further information on the CleanPal, please visit: http://www.polymerlogistics.com/product-solutions/nestable-pallet2/ or call +44 (0) 845 200 0001

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