The Pallet LOOP – the sector’s first circular economy, carbon net zero, pallet reuse scheme – aims to tackle the problem posed by the lack of pallet reuse in the UK construction industry.
Founded by some of the biggest names in the UK pallet industry, The Pallet LOOP is set to transform the way building materials move throughout the construction industry supply chain.
A number of high-profile companies in the sector have signed a charter, acknowledging that change is required when it comes to pallet consumption and committing to a comprehensive evaluation of how The Pallet LOOP could be integrated within their business to help cut waste.
Every year around 18 million pallets are manufactured for the UK construction industry, with estimates suggesting less than 10% are currently reused. To create construction industry pallets, an estimated 6,000 acres of forestry are harvested every year, with a further 236,000 acres grown to cater for future demand.
Set for operational roll out in 2022, The Pallet LOOP is a joint venture between Paul and Ryan Lewis (formerly HLC Wood Products) and Scott Group; one of the UK’s leading pallet producers.
Centred around the principles of ‘recover, repair and reuse’, The Pallet LOOP aims to eliminate avoidable pallet waste in the construction sector by incentivising pallet returns via a cost-effective, easy-to-use, deposit-based system.
At the heart of The Pallet LOOP is a range of distinctive, green, 100% FSC LOOP pallets, which are different by design. Manufactured with durability in mind, with an ISO14040 compliant LCA, and, on average, 100% stronger than existing designs, LOOP pallets will be distributed to building materials manufacturers, which can use them to transport products to builders’ merchants and construction sites nationwide.
Building material manufacturers will pay a deposit per pallet (along with a separate issue fee that the manufacturer absorbs in much the same way they do today with a packaging charge) to The Pallet LOOP. As the pallets move through the supply chain, the deposit will pass from manufacturer to merchant to end user.
Once materials reach their final destination, pallets can be stacked and stored ready for collection by The Pallet LOOP, which has a dedicated recovery infrastructure in place. Pallet collection is simple and users will be able to book a pick up slot via phone or online. Once a collection is booked, pallets will be picked up from as little as 72 hours later – reducing site clutter. Deposits are then repaid, in full, to the end-user.
Paul Lewis, Founder of The Pallet LOOP, said: “At present, the vast majority of pallets circulating in the sector are designed for single use. The current industry specification for pallets works on the assumption that they will be scrapped or skipped once they reach their final destination. We’re turning this outdated, inefficient and linear practice on its head. In a step-change for the sector, we’ve developed a range of standardised pallets, engineered to last and to be used again and again.”