Dutch beverage industry is switching to plastic pallets
Beverage Pallet Management Netherlands BV (DPB) is replacing its wooden pallets with a new pool of 400,000 plastic pallets. It has chosen a durable heavy-duty100x1200mm model made from recycled plastic. The organization believes that the new pallet will deliver improved environmental performance, saying that it is lighter, stronger and more hygienic than the current wooden pallet.
Transition to plastic
During 2012 the new plastic pallets are being inducted into the Dranken Pallet system. The aim is that from 2013 almost all Dutch breweries and a large part of the Dutch soft drink manufacturers will be taking advantage of the new plastic pallet. This pallet was developed through a unique collaboration between DPB, its tenants and producer IPS. According to DPB, all users, including the food trade, are very excited about putting the plastic pallet into service, with anticipation of positive impacts in the area of environmental performance, hygiene and ergonomics.
Improving the environmental performance was an important principle in the development of the plastic pallet. “For the production of the pallet, use was made of recycled plastic that, in the end of its life will be used again for the production of new plastic pallets (Cradle to Cradle),” said Anne-Vrind Marth, director of DPB. “Also, this pallet has a longer life than the wooden pallet and with less pressure on the transportation due to the reduced weight and with the elimination of repair.”
Marth noted that the new pallet is stronger, while weighing 17 pounds less than the previous Dranken Pallet. “With all of these improvements we are introducing a socially responsible innovation,” she concluded.
Loss of pallets has not been a significant issue for the pool in the past, due to the strong reverse logistics component of the system. The return of pallets is required for the return of reusable transport packaging needed to hold empty refillable bottles still common in the Dutch beverage system. The pool does not operate depots. Pallet users manage their own inventories of rented pallets.
The existing wood pallets will be transitioned out of the system with the help of the Phoenix Pallet operation of the Faber Halbertsma Group, where they will be painted black and offered elsewhere as one-way pallets. Phoenix previously performed pallet repair for the beverage pallet pool.
Beverage Pallet Management Netherlands BV (DPB) was founded in 1994 as a uniform pallet pool for Dutch producers of returnable beverage packaging. Nearly all Dutch breweries and a large part of Dutch soft drink manufacturers participate in the DPB system, thereby simplifying the logistics of the Dutch food trade.