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 pallets.
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Rather than produce all pallets from new lumber, the wooden pallet industry recycles hundreds of millions of pallets every year! By using recycled wooden pallets many supply chains can reduce their demand for trees.
95% of wooden pallets are recycled, making them one of the most reused and recycled materials in the transportation and shipping industries. But figuring out how many trees those efforts save is going to take some math.
Here are some pallet recycling facts:
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.
To examine how many trees are saved each year, we need to determine how much lumber is used in a standard pallet, and how much lumber can be produced from a normal size log.For our calculations, we estimate that two 10’ logs can be harvested from one tree. With that baseline, we can then calculate how many trees are saved each year by recycling pallets.
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’ 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 million pallets recovered each year and dividing it by 4 pallets per log, we see that around 87 million logs that have been used to produce these pallets. That’s a lot of lumber!
If we were 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, not only would our environment be impacted but supply of lumber would decrease and demand would increase. This would lead to a significant rise in cost for lumber.
Our Green Mission
Pallet Consultants is proud to be a part of the push for more environmentally conscious business practices.In 2017 we saved over 93 million pounds of lumber from going to waste, not to mention we also recycled over 1.2 million pounds of cardboard and over 230,000 pounds of nails!
Not only do we have industry-leading customer service and products, we do our best to lessen our environmental footprint. If you’d like to learn more about our green products, check here and here. And for our statistics, check out our numbers from 2017 here.