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Reduction of CO2 emissions by reusing wooden pallets

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Sustainability is a top priority at 2Return: our services focus on the reuse of existing packaging, such as wooden and plastic pallets. In contrast to service providers, who focus on a pool of standard (Euro) pallets, we also offer the possibility to collect customer-specific pallets  for reuse.

These pallets are custom-made for transportation of products with different dimensions. This includes, for example, semi-finished and finished products for construction; these products can be of considerable size, requiring the pallets to be up to several meters long to adequately support and protect them during transport and storage.

2Return ensures that pallets at the end user's location, such as a construction site or warehouse, are collected and put back into circulation by the original owner. Purchasing new pallets is therefore largely redundant. Good news for the environment, because for every 20 pallets that are reused, no tree has to be cut down. That saves a lot of forest. And despite the fact that billions of trees are planted for logging every year, this number cannot match the numbers that are being cut down.

Various carriers are used to collect these pallets, who take them to one of 2Return's many depots. We are regularly asked whether the transport of these empty pallets also contributes to global CO2 emissions. That's right, we certainly cannot deny that collecting the empty packaging has no impact on this.

The transport sector is indeed responsible for a large part of CO2 emissions. But by implementing new measures, efforts are being made to achieve the 2030 climate targets. Think of the use of cleaner trucks, more efficient planning, so that partial shipments are combined and no empty kilometers are made, and also the driving behavior of the drivers.

Despite the impact of transport, the reuse of wooden pallets has major environmental benefits. If the pallet is only used once, it disappears through recycling as biomass in the incinerator. This way all the absorbed CO2 is returned to the air. But the purchase of new products is also environmentally harmful. The required amount of wood, energy and transport between the plantation and the sawmill and then to the production location for the production of new packaging results in higher CO2 emissions. Calculation models have been made for all these processes, in order to be able to calculate the net impact on the environment.

We can calculate whether it is interesting for you to implement the pallet collection system. Our calculations are based on a profile supplied by you, in which the numbers and types of pallets, number of addresses and kilometers to be driven for collecting the pallets are known. Based on this, we can estimate the CO2 reduction as a result of reusing the pallets. We use available knowledge about CO2 emissions from the transport sector and when burned by a biomass plant per M3 of wood. In addition, we calculate the savings on wood that would have been necessary for the production of new pallets.

The reuse of wooden pallets contributes to a circular economy and to a reduction of CO2 emissions. The lifespan of your pallets is extended, which means that less scarce raw materials are required in the long term.

Curious about the impact of your pallet use on the environment and how this could be improved? Contact us via or telephone number +31 ()0499-496 590. Who knows, there may still be a lot to be gained in the field of pallet management.

Reduction of CO2 emissions by reusing wooden pallets
Delay in delivery time of wood can lead to high costs

Delay in delivery time of wood can lead to high costs

The enormous price increases of wood have been the headlines in recent months: due to the increased demand and scarcity in the market, the price of a new pallet has doubled compared to last year.
Reuse of pallets more necessary than ever

Reuse of pallets more necessary than ever

Wood is a scarce commodity at the moment. The global demand is enormous, while the supply is lower due to various factors.

2Return is member of the Rotom Group