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Coming into Focus: Share the Good News about Wood Pallets
Pallet Facts: Leader of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association, Brent McClendon, speaks at the Western Pallet Associating detailing the true facts behind the benefits of wood pallets to the United States and the planet

By Staff
Date Posted: 3/7/2019

Brent McClendon, president of the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association (NWPCA), shared some interesting pallet industry facts at the annual meeting of the Western Pallet Association (WPA). What McClendon told the WPA audience about the supply chain benefits of wood pallets and the economic impact of the industry may help you promote your business to your customers and prospects.

Wood pallets and packaging are a great success story when it comes to recycling and sustainability. Ninety-five percent of wood pallets are recycled at their end of their life cycle, according to a study by the U.S. Forest Service. The wood fiber is reclaimed and recycled to make mulch, biofuel, animal bedding, and other products.

That 95% recycling rate is better than other common packaging materials. The rate for paper and paperboard is 75%. Steel is 72%, aluminum is 38%, and glass is 32%. The recycling rate for plastic is only 14%.

More than nine billion board feet of lumber is used annually to produce pallets – 43% of U.S. hardwood production, and 15% of softwood production. However, it is important to distinguish that wood pallets are manufactured from low-grade wood material and wood that otherwise may be underutilized.

Pallet production continues to grow, a reflection of the U.S. economy. The U.S. produces 849 million pallets annually, according to a Virginia Tech survey. New pallets account for 508 million, and recycled pallets make up the remainder at 341 million.

Wood pallets are vital to the U.S. and global supply chains. More than 90% of goods and products in the United States are transported on pallets. Every day nearly 2 billion pallets are used in this country.

The wood packaging industry is a significant contributor to the U.S. economy, too. It is a $31 billion industry that provides jobs to more than 173,000 people, according to a study by the  Pallet Foundation.

Wood pallets are indispensable to our supply chains and the planet.

Wood packaging is recycled at a higher rate than materials used in other packaging. Plus, the wood packaging industry contributes to our economy. This is good news! It’s time to share it with others so that more people learn the truly amazing benefits of wood pallets and packaging.








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Pallet Facts