Does Father Christmas use pallets?

Christmas palletsYou would think that Christmas and pallets have very little in common. Well, to be honest, you’d be wrong…

For one thing pallets are absolutely vital in the transportation of all the products and food required for the festive period so we can have a jolly Christmas. None of the shops and internet warehouses across the UK – and indeed the world – would be sufficiently stocked if it wasn’t for the pallet working hard in the build-up to Christmas and through to the New Year sales.

Also, we can’t imagine that Father Christmas copes with his massive logistical nightmare on Christmas Eve without the humble pallet. How are the elves going to get all those presents on Santa’s sleigh without a forklift and pallets?

A rather more unexpected use for the pallet at Christmas is as a form of decoration.Forget your tinsel, stars and mistletoe, there is a whole community out there making amazing Christmas decorations by recycling pallets.

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Recycling: one part of the economy that is growing…

We tweeted last week a BBC article about the fact that the UK economy contracted by 0.4% in the second quarter of the year, which is less than originally estimated but still disappointing.

Any good news about the economy is rare these days and it usually has a cautionary tone but that’s not to say there aren’t businesses thriving out there. PH Pallets manages and recycles wooden pallets and we are part of the UK’s green economy where good news is a little more abundant.

Part of the UK's successful green economy

Ready for recycling – part of the green economy

This year a report from the environmental think tank Green Alliance said the UK’s green economy, which includes the recycling sector, has remained healthy since the banking crisis. The think tank used a bag-for-life full of official government figures to summarise the current state of the green economy, which is in ruddy health.

According to the BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) in 2010/11 the global low-carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) sector was estimated to be worth around £3.3 trillion, after growing around 3.7% from 2009/10. The UK is currently sixth in the world in this sector, with an estimated value of over to £122 billion (approximately 3.7% of the global market). The UK sector employed an estimated 939,600 people in 2010/11, and the market experienced growth of 4.7% from 2009/10.

PH Pallets sends nothing to landfill

Waste is a commodity – reuse and recycle!

Note the word ‘growth’ in that last sentence. You don’t hear that in many other sectors of the economy and we know from our own experience, recycling wood pallets, that the green economy remains strong. In fact, we’ve just completed a £400,000 upgrade of our bespoke IT system and recycling unit in Manchester and we’re looking to invest more in the future.

In a struggling economy recycling makes absolute sense – it saves time, raw material and costs – and nowadays most waste material is a commodity. Using waste wisely makes for good business and a strong economy.


Pallets dominate Pinterest…

Pinterest, a social media platform where users ‘pin’ images to themed ‘boards’ and share them with others, has bloomed within the last year. Millions of people log in everyday to share images and be inspired by others’. One predominant theme is anything and everything DIY – crafts, furniture, you name it – there are innumerable creative ideas being thrown out there.

An unexpected star of the Pinterest-show is the humble pallet. Though it’s aesthetic is unapologetically functional, this ubiquitous item is the basis of some astonishingly creative re-modelling.

As we’ve discussed in a previous blog post, pallet art has been an established creative outlet for a while. Increasing awareness of the importance of sustainability, the economic climate and a general rejection of mass produced goods has inspired people to seek out ethical ways to be creative. Pallets are not only in their millions, but are one of the cheapest sources of timber.

Chairs, tables, shelving, art – even buildings – are being made out of old pallets. Pinterest, which has rapidly become a hub of creative inspiration, is a brilliant resource to delve into what’s possible with so simple an item. Check out our very own Pinterest page to see some of the amazing work done.

Not just a pretty pallet…

There is more to the humble pallet than just the distribution of goods and products around the Globe, especially when it comes to the recycling and reusing of this understated wooden wonder.

If we were to say to you that pallets could be the basis for sustainable architecture, beautiful furniture, brilliant art and a bit of gardening; we’d forgive you for being a little bit sceptical.Pallet shelvesBut just go to PH Pallet’s Pinterest page and be amazed by the versatility of a wooden pallet. From a quaint shelf in your home to a strikingly contemporary pallet pavilionby German architect Matthias Loebermann – the creativity is incredible.

Of course, we would prefer that the pallets came into us for repair and recycling, so that they can be put to use by our customers for what they were originally intended for.

Pallet Pavilion - Matthias Loebermann

Photographed by Mila Hacke, Berlin

But as long as a pallet or its wood doesn’t end up collecting dust in the corner of a warehouse or dumped in landfill, then we’re a happy bunch at PH Pallets.

Pallet stairs

Green testing for our customers…

It’s easy for us to say that we’re ethical and professional specialists in total pallet management and recycling. We can also tell you that we don’t send anything to landfill from our North West England operations unit near Manchester. Both statements are completely true but it’s only fair that we back them up with independent, trusted and respectable certification.

PH Pallets paper recycling

For all our paper recycling.

So, as we write this PH Pallets is going through the demanding, detailed and stringent assessments for ISO 14000.

The International Organization for Standardisation, better known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organisations, which obviously include environmental bodies.

ISO 14000 is a family of standards related to environmental management that helps businesses and organisations minimise how their operations and processes impact on the environment; comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other green requirements; and continually improve its green management.

PH Pallets wood recycling

For all our wood recycling.

PH Pallets sorting department

Our pallet sorting and grading department – notice the small separate skips for polythene and wood!

Achieving and maintaining ISO 14000 standards are not just important to us, so we can mention the fact that we’re an environmentally ethical company during polite conversation.
Environmental certification is essential because our customers also have green targets set by government and EU legislation, guidelines, regulations and also their own customers. For example, it means a lot to retailers that then can reassure increasingly ethically aware consumers that their contactors and suppliers are also reducing their carbon footprint.

When PH Pallets achieves ISO 14000 status it will be another reasons why our customers ask us to collect, recycle and provide their wooden pallets.

It’s about protecting the environment and it’s also good business.