When you wander into the home improvement store, one thing you might have noticed is the sheer amount of wooden pallets that are located there. If you are environmentally conscious, this can be frustrating to see and to think about when you are trying to make positive changes that will work long term. However, Re-Pal has fixed that problem by providing builders an alternative to wood and the expensive option of Trex or other products.
Few realize how harmful their wooden pallet can actually be to the environment. Not only can the production of wooden pallets increase how many trees are cut down (up to 40% in some regions according to the Re-Pal website), but the chemicals used to maintain the wood once the deck is built can contribute to environmental problems.
The use of timber isn’t the only issue. Plastic has become the main enemy to fight in the battle of saving our planet. With plastic eaten by animals and absorbed into the soil without us even realizing it, environmentalists have had to come up with unique ways in order to repurpose those plastic bags we pick up at the grocery store. Re-Pal is one of the most innovative initiatives to come from this desire to clean up our act by reusing plastic in a new way.
Re-Pal’s Thermo-fusion process doesn’t require sorting, meaning it can use all grades of plastics. The pallets that are created from this process are made entirely out of plastic waste and offer the perfect option for builders who don’t want to use chemicals in order maintain the materials. These pallets are also sustainable—if they suffer any wear and tear, they are simply re-inserted back into the Thermo-fusion machine and used again.
Other options can be expensive, as well. Competitors often charge more for their products if they are environmentally friendly. This can often discourage builders from taking a look at alternative options to wood even though it does create a more positive impact. It’s also not because they don’t wish to lower the prices—but because it is more expensive as a business model to repurpose the materials.
Re-Pal recognizes this and states on its website: “We are able to produce a pallet that is comparable to that of a timber pallet for the same price.” In fact, Re-Pal’s product might be a better option for large warehouses—their pallets do not absorb moisture like timber and they do not require nails to hold together. Perhaps best of all, the product does not splinter, meaning it is less likely to break than regular wood.
Pallets are often not designed to be easily transportable, either. They take up large amounts of space, which in turn can increase shipping costs of both the product that is attached to the pallet and of the pallets themselves. Re-Pal created a new design with this in mind, offering a sleek way to transport the pallets while easily stacking them on top of one another. There is also no need to worry about disposing them. Re-Pal has made their product 100% recyclable, so they can be used again and again.
Changing how we interact with our environment and coming up with innovative solutions will take time and thought. However, with companies like Re-Pal thinking ahead and creating products that can be sustainable, we are on the right track to making a difference. It’s refreshing to see a company return to the basics of what we need in order to function as a more environmentally-friendly world—hopefully other companies can adopt this model of making it possible to be green without the added price.