In the United States alone, two billion wooden pallets are used each year. The use of these pallets contributes to more than six million tons of wood being dumped into landfills every year and the consumption of an estimated 50 percent of the country’s annual hardwood harvest.
To minimize the environmental impact resulting from the use of wood pallets, Silgan Specialty Packaging is working with our customers to move to returnable pallets, slip sheets, and top caps. The returnable pallets are washed and dried in the system you see here using FDA-compliant, biodegradable solutions. Cleaned pallets are then stored in our HVAC-controlled warehouse until needed again in production.
Another benefit of using returnable packaging is damaged pallets, slip sheets and top caps can be removed from circulation and recycled. The manufacturers buy damaged packaging items back, regrind them and mold the regrind into new packaging items.