The ‘BestInAU’ website routinely scours the Internet to find the best deals, the best articles, and the most useful information for its Australian audience, and recently it carried an article in praise of wooden containers for storage, packaging, and delivery. Information in that article has relevance to people all around the globe, since the benefits of wood packaging are applicable to virtually everyone in every location of the world. Here are some of the most important reasons that wood is considered to be such a versatile and effective container for packaging and containing goods.
Wooden crates are perfect for moving a large quantity of goods, since they retain their shape and their integrity of structure even under pressure from within and from without. This can be essential for businesses wishing to keep their goods safe during transportation, and during storage time. When compared to materials such as cardboard, it’s easy to see the durability advantage offered by wood packaging.
Wooden crates are very affordable when brand-new, but they are even more affordable when purchased second-hand and reused. While other materials may be initially cheaper, the fact of wood’s re-usability makes it a better bargain and a more cost-effective choice for storing and packaging.
Speaking of being reusable, the fact that they are so well constructed makes wooden crates highly reusable, almost literally until they fall apart. When your wooden crates do begin to show signs of wear and tear, they can be deconstructed and rebuilt into brand-new wooden crates.
When packaging with wooden crates, you don’t have to worry about corrosion, because wood provides a very effective barrier against dirt, dust, moisture, and many other kinds of debris which might degrade your products in some other container.
When space is at a premium, it’s very helpful to be able to stack your wooden crates vertically, so as to save floor space and warehouse space. This also makes them highly transportable, and can make it more cost-efficient to send stacks of wooden crates holding your goods.
When you’re done using your wooden crates for packaging, they can also be used for a number of other projects as well. They can easily be converted into simple chairs, shelving, or tables for instance, so they can be used all around the home.
If you need wooden crates in a special size or shape, it’s fairly easy to find a vendor who can accommodate your wishes. If you anticipate using wooden crates around the household, there are any number of wood-working specialists who are capable of making high-quality wooden creations, according to your specifications.
There aren’t too many materials which are more eco-friendly than wood, and it’s a packaging material that excels in being reusable and renewable. Provided you obtain your wooden crates from a maker who uses sustainable sources, you can ensure that your wooden packages are recycled after their period of usage, to complete the cycle of renewability.
Nature’s Packaging is committed to the sustainability and recyclability of the wood packaging industry. Recent studies show that 95% of wood packaging materials are recycled and diverted from landfills. When forests are sustainability managed they sequester carbon from the atmosphere to help fight climate change and the wood packaging industry is doing its part to make sure that no lumber harvested from trees goes to waste.
A recent survey conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech University, in collaboration with the National Wood Pallet and Container Association, and the US Forestry Service, has discovered that approximately 95% of all wooden pallets avoid entering landfills, and are instead either resold, repaired for ongoing usage, or pulverized into useful mulch.
This same type of study was conducted in 1998, and the comparison of numbers between the two studies is startling. Factors such as an increased awareness of environmental concerns, overcrowded landfills and disposal areas, and an increasing desire to manage waste more efficiently has apparently led to the dramatic results. The number of wood pallets which are now entering landfills has dropped by an astonishing 86% in the 20 years since the same survey was last conducted.
Recycling takes place both at companies which make use of them for storage and packaging, as well as at landfills and disposal areas where many of the wood pallets eventually find their way. Recycling centers at both types of facilities have workers who routinely inspect received wooden pallets, and have them sorted by what kind of shape they’re in. Those which are still in good shape and suitable for re-purposing after repairs, are sold at a very affordable price to companies which can still make use of them. Those pallets which have really outlived their useful life, and can no longer be effective as storage containers, are usually ground up into wood chips, for eventual use in gardens around the country as mulch.
In 1998 when the survey was last conducted, only about 33% of such facilities had their own recycling functions, but this latest survey has discovered that 62% of the same facilities now perform on-site recycling to extend re-usability. Whereas the total count of wooden pallets reaching landfills in 1998 was approximately 180 million, that figure has now dropped to a little over 25 million, which is an incredible decrease in a mere 20 years.
Recycling is good for everyone
Part of the reason for this enormous increase in recycling and re-usability is that it has become extremely easy for industrial sites to participate in recycling. Pallet recycling companies who deal routinely with wooden pallets will even make regular trips directly to industrial sites for the purpose of retrieving used wooden pallets and crates. Both parties benefit, since industrial companies are paid for their used wooden crates and pallets, and the recycling companies are then able to resell or refurbish crates for resale, so they can also make a profit. Any of the crates or pallets which don’t pass muster are simply fed into a wood chipper, and re-purposed as biofuel, mulch or bedding for animals.
Nature’s Packaging is committed to wood pallet recyclability and sustainability because recycling wood pallets is good for the environment. Our carbon calculator, based on scientific models used by the Environmental Protection Agency, proves this fact; for every 100 wood pallets recycled has the same environmental impact as taking 10 cars off the road.
Wood is strong, flexible, and has been used in a variety of building applications for hundreds of years because it is safe and is a renewable resource. There are many external factors that can affect trees and thus the quality of lumber they produce. These external factors can have significant impacts on the mechanical properties of wood and results in many dramatic changes such as a difference in density, growth rate, tree size and more. Annual growth rings are the rings found inside the tree and these growth rings often give environmentalists the most clues as to what journey a tree experienced in its lifetime.
Trees grow in two directions. First, they grow upwards in order to absorb more sunlight. Then they grow outward to expand in diameter as the tree matures. The upward and outer growth occurs at different times depending on the species of tree and the season.
The outer bark protects the tree from fluctuating temperatures, insects, diseases and is a tree’s first line of defense from its environment. When a tree is healthy then its bark remains intact, allowing the tree to defend itself from insect attacks such as the devastating mountain pine beetle epidemic.
Tree rings that are reflected in a cross-section of a tree are the lines that will reveal most about tree growth. Each ring resembles one year of growth. They are created because trees grow faster during certain seasons and remain dormant during other seasons like winter. These rings will differentiate in width depending on the environmental situation the tree experienced. During heavy rainfall and good environmental conditions, the year rings will be much wider compared to drought seasons where the rings are much thinner.
In some cases, trees can take up to fifty years to reach maturity in order to be harvested for commercial use. As a tree grows it sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and that carbon is stored in the wood throughout its life cycle. The carbon forms long chains that are the backbone to cellulose, which is the primary component of lumber that helps make it a strong and durable material. Many of the products and resources we use every day arrive at our local grocery stores by means of a wood pallet. Wood pallets are a safe, durable, and sustainable way to transport goods and materials needed across the world.