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The Future of Pallets: Why Plastic is Expected to Take Over

August 9, 2022

Pallets are an essential piece of equipment for any business that ships products. While wooden pallets have traditionally been the default choice for most businesses, plastic pallets are now becoming increasingly popular, with the market for plastic pallets predicted to grow by 20% by 2030. This has been spurred on in part by the timber supply shortage which has, in turn, prompted a global shortage of wooden pallets. But plastic pallets also offer some significant advantages over their wooden counterparts which are encouraging more and more businesses to make the switch. Here are some of the key benefits of plastic pallets.


No treatment required

Wooden pallets that are used for international export must meet the international standard ISPM-15. This will usually mean they are either heat treated or treated with methyl bromide to kill any insects that might be living in the wood. These treatments can be expensive, making wooden pallets used for international export more costly. Plastic pallets do not require any treatment in order to comply with ISPM-15.



 It’s no secret that plastic is lighter than wood, and this means plastic pallets are also significantly lighter, making them easier to move and cutting down on transportation costs. While this is generally positive, one downside is that plastic pallets generally cannot bear as much weight as wooden pallets, so wooden pallets may still be a better option for heavier cargo.



Of course one of the key benefits of plastic is its durability. Plastic pallets don’t rust, rot, splinter warp or chip. They are also completely weather resistant and are not damaged by water. While wooden pallets can also be terrifically weather resistant, they can degrade or become damaged if they are left in moist or wet environments for extended periods of time. Although they cost more initially, plastic pallets usually have a longer lifespan than their wooden counterparts. However, it’s important to note that plastic pallets generally can’t be repaired. Once damaged they are melted down and recycled. 



Another benefit of plastic is that it is very hygienic. Because plastic isn’t porous, it can be very easily cleaned and sterilised, making it ideal for transporting food, chemical or pharmaceutical products that need to adhere to strict hygiene requirements. Even in other industries, the ease of cleaning plastic pallets can be a real advantage. 


While the cost of plastic pallets once meant they were out of reach for many businesses, as production processes continue to evolve, they are now becoming increasingly affordable. If you’re in the market for high-quality, well-priced plastic pallets, or if you’d like to discuss which pallet type best suits your business needs, contact Cooperage Pallets today.