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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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

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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.

Good news to start with…

It’s very nice to start off our new PH Pallet blog with some good news! We’ve marked the completion of a £400,000 investment with the announcement of more plans for the future.

We’re a North West England pallet management and recycling specialist, and have just finished a £150,000 upgrade of our Dukinfield operations unit and a £250,000 bespoke IT system that tracks every pallet that enters and leaves our premises.

We’re now drafting proposals to extend and develop our recycling operations. The team wants to further enhance access to our five-acre site to increase the intake of thousands of used wooden pallets for recycling.

Mark Houghton, our partner in PH Pallets, says: “Since we started in 1988 we haven’t stopped expanding and naturally we’re now looking for the next investment.

“Even during the current economic woes we’ve been able to invest in our business because we can offer companies a source of revenue – where they may have thought there was none – by buying back used pallets and recycling them.

“We don’t deal in cash or averages: every incoming pallet is logged, sorted, graded and paid for thanks to our custom-built IT system, and our clients are provided with detailed reports of exactly what they’ve given us.

“Also, nothing from our site goes to landfill. Clients regularly audit us on this aspect of our operations because, even in an economic downturn, it’s an important benefit to our customers looking to meet environmental targets and policies.”

A very proud Mark Houghton

For a bit of background, PH Pallets employs 29 people, handles more than 30,000 pallets every week and we have a turnover of more than £2 million a year. We have a wide client base across many industries, including retail, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, freight, warehouse and the food industry.

Exciting times ahead…