Wooden Pallet Industry Approaching Zero Waste, Study Shows
Research shows that close to a whopping ninety-five percent of wooden pallets are recycled. We already know that wood pallets are 100% recyclable. Yet, thanks to a research project funded by the Pallet Foundation and the USDA Forest Service, the data shows just how well the wood packaging industry is doing by closing in on zero-waste.
The 95% recycle rate of wood pallets is the highest rate when compared to other packaging materials such as plastic, corrugated, or steel.
The 2018 research project, known as the landfill avoidance study, was based on surveys from pallet manufacturing and recycling facilities, and solid waste facilities. Spearheaded by the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, NWPCA worked with Virginia Tech to complete a comprehensive and innovative study to determine how much wood packaging contributes to landfill waste. The results were astounding and revealed the significant progress made in recycling over the past two decades.
Project Links & Contacts
The Pallet Foundation funds projects, such as the landfill avoidance survey, which benefit the wood packaging industry. This research was conducted in collaboration with three prominent groups: Virginia Tech, National Wooden Pallet & Container Association, and the U.S. Forest Service.
- Pallet Market Survey: Investigation of New and Recovered Wood Shipping Platforms in the United States: Peer-reviewed article in the Bioresources Journal. March 2020.
- Related Charts
The respective staff leads who provided oversight and co-authored this article are:
We would like to thank the hundreds of industry members who volunteered to take part in the survey, as well as the NWPCA Science and Technology Advisory Council and task group volunteers who contributed greatly to the development of the surveys. We would also like to recognize the efforts of Virginia Tech graduate students Nathan Gerber and Zach Shiner, and the guidance and insight provided by Phil Araman of the USDA Forest Service.
This research was funded in part by the NWPCA, the Pallet Foundation and the USDA Forest Service. The ongoing support of impactful research related to the wood pallet industry is greatly appreciated.