Category Archives: Plastic Pallets

Food Grade Pallets In New Zealand

Food safety is a huge concern in the food and beverage industry. Any business in the sector must ensure their food is safe for the end consumer and prevent contamination at any stage in the supply chain. Even a small case of contamination can cost dearly and result to legal liabilities.

Plastic food pallets offer a hygienic solution for ensuring the safety of products during export, shipment or internal warehousing.

Plastic vs. Wood

Are plastic pallets superior to wood pallets? The answer is a resounding yes. The great debate has already been settled, the use of plastic pallets is already a growing trend in the F&B industry. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Resistance to moisture. Food-grade plastic pallets are non-porous. This means there are no hidden reserves that will hold moisture or fluids that harbour moulds or pathogens (such as Salmonella, Listeria and coli). Since there are no fibres in the material, fluids from raw foods such as meat can easily be cleaned and sanitised between loads. The non-porous surface also ensures no harsh chemical residue from cleaning agents will build up and get in contact with the food.

  • Does not require fumigation. Wood pallets often require fumigation or some sort of heat treatment to repel pests (such as the ambrosia beetle and the emerald ash borer) and fungus. Such treatments can make the pallets more susceptible to mould growth, and they sometimes use chemicals that are not considered food-safe. In fact, a well-documented case of Johnson & Johnson product recalls years ago was directly linked to chemical treatments applied to wood pallets, specifically, the toxic pesticide 2, 4, 6-tribomoanisole (TBA).

  • Resistance to heat. Heat resistance is one of the inherent properties of our plastic pallets, which lend them superior durability. Even in high heat or humidity, the pallets are guaranteed to perform well without breaking or warping.

  • Lightweight. Our pallets are designed to be hard at work yet easy to use. They provide the support and efficiency required in moving products through the supply chain, without adding to the bulk or weight. A standard 48” x 40” pallet can hold up to 2,800 pounds. As a result, using our food-grade plastic pallets can help lower your shipping costs by adding less weight to shipments and speeding up the delivery of goods.

  • Long operational life. Moisture and fluids are bad news for wood pallets. Once the pallets get soaked, they become hard to clean and dry completely. Over time, they become brittle and prone to contamination. Plastic eliminates this problem, so they can be used over and over for a relatively longer operational life. Even better, old pallets can be recycled into other products. This reduces your operational expenses and waste.

  • Keeps products in good condition. Splinters or protruding nails on wood pallets can bruise or puncture food products, making contamination more likely to occur. But this is never the case with plastic pallets. These pallets are made with high-quality plastic that is moulded to produce a solid block construction with no nails or screws necessary.

  • Environmentally friendly. Although plastics generally have a bad rap, plastic pallets are particularly more eco-friendly compared to their wooden counterparts. They can be ground and re-used to make new pallets.

Rotational Plastics have a range of food-grade pallets that provide both sanitary performance and exceptional value. Our pallets come in various sizes, colours and configurations to suit all possible kinds of applications. For instance, some types have ribbing or lip edges for better stability of the products during transit.

Given the safety, cleanliness and reliability of plastic pallets, more and more food companies are transitioning to using them for their shipping and warehousing activities.

Plastic Pallets For Supply Chain Management

One of the biggest challenges for any form of business is optimising efficiency in the supply chain. It’s not enough to simply produce quality products if you can’t get them to the shelves in the best condition. Efficiency means safe handling and transporting items conveniently at an affordable cost.

If you’re still using wood pallets, it’s time to transition to their plastic counterpart. The benefits of using plastic pallets are just too good to ignore:

  • Lightweight. Weigh is a major concern during loading, offloading and shipping products. It adds extra costs and requires more effort to handle. Since plastic pallets are much lighter than wood pallets, they can help you save on shipping costs and make handling much more convenient.
  • Extremely durable. Wood pallets typically last for 3 to 5 years, but the lifespan of plastic pallets is up to 10 years. Moreover, plastic pallets can withstand shock and support more weight with minimal wear and tear. With proper use, they will neither break nor splinter. If you are operating a closed-loop system where you use the pallets over and over, plastic ones are best to use.
  • Safe to handle. Plastic pallets have no moveable parts because they are injection moulded or thermoformed into one single block construction. This means there is no risk of injuries from rusty nails, splinters, sharp edges or protruding fasteners. Knowing safety is guaranteed, your staff will handle products with confidence and efficiency.
  • Hygienic and easy to clean. Plastic pallets don’t absorb liquids or drippings from raw meat. Consequently, they do not attract pests or harbour moulds and harmful pathogens. All they need to be clean is a quick wash, which is why they are a perfect hygienic solution in the pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. Our plastic pallets are specifically made from food-grade material to maintain hygiene at all times.
  • Dimensionally stable. This feature lends plastic pallets superior performance. When used for the recommended load capacity, the pallets will retain its original dimensions, i.e. width, length, height, block width, entry width and under clearance.
  • Weather resistant. Exposure to rain or high humidity won’t damage our UV-stable plastic pallets. Even corrosion, shock, stress and weak acids will not affect them. Thus, they are a must-have all-weather solution in the supply chain. They can also withstand low temperatures in freezers or chillers.
  • Branding. Need another platform for marketing your brand? Plastic pallets can be customised for any marketing purpose. You can stamp your brand on display pallets or choose a colour that identifies your business, to increase awareness. Moulding plastic pallets is a versatile process that offers unlimited possibilities. In addition to branding, the pallets can also be numbered or serial coded to make inventory more efficient.
  • Space saving. As well as weight, space is also a key variable in determining shipping costs. Plastic pallets can be stackable, rackable or nestable. This feature allows you to save space where possible, particularly during return trips.
  • Environmentally friendly. Consumers love brands that are environmentally conscious. By adopting plastic pallets, you’ll be marking yourself as an eco-friendly business. There are a number of reasons why. First, they save trees which are an important natural resource. Second, unlike their wooden counterpart, plastic pallets don’t need fumigation or heat treatment. Such treatments use toxic chemicals that make the pallets unsafe for food handling and contribute to environmental pollution. Third, plastic pallets are 100% recyclable. Old ones can be broken down and moulded into new ones.

Plastic pallet design

Versatility is one of key features of plastic pallets, as they can be moulded into unique designs to match the needs of a business.

Below are some of the most commonly used types:

  1. Stackable pallets – The bottom section of these pallets is designed such that multiple pallets can be stacked without comprising stability – with or without products.
  2. Rackable pallets – These are most dependable for managing heavy loads. They have either runner or picture frame configuration for enhanced strength. These pallets are designed to fit on racks seamlessly, which helps to save more space on the floor.
  3. Nestable pallets – Best to use if you need to maximise space. These pallets have “legs” that go into each other when stacked, allowing easy transport especially during the return trip.
  4. Drum pallets – Made specifically for transporting drums, these pallets have moulded recessed rings that may vary in size depending on the size of the container it’s used for. The recessed rings secure drums in place so they don’t slip or fall during shipping and storage.

Other features can be added to plastic pallets such as lip edges and spill control depending on applications. Speaking of such, plastic pallets may also be classified according to their use.

Below are some examples:

Product displays

You’ve probably seen this in supermarkets, groceries and retail stores. Plastic pallets can be branded and made in a range of colours or sizes to support promotional product displays. This allows an entire product display to be moved conveniently using a forklift.

Industrial export

Recycled plastic pallets are a cost-effective option for one-way shipping. Although they are not as durable as the ones made with 100% virgin polypropylene (PP) or low density polyethylene (LDPE) material, they are cheaper and nonetheless reliable.

Spill control

Plastic pallets used to transport liquid or beverage containers typically have slits or holes on the surface and a containment at the bottom for catching any leak or spillage. This way the leaks will not spill onto the floor or the shipping container, reducing the risk of slips and falls as well as the risk of contamination when transporting hazardous substances. Our range includes spill containment pallets from 50L splash pallets to 400L forklift-able pallets.

Plastic pallets can also be classified based on their capacity, i.e. heavy duty or medium duty. The heavy duty type is made using 100% virgin LDPE material, which makes them extremely durable for a long period of time. These are perfect for demanding applications such as in a closed-loop supply chain or in heavy industrial transport.

Reheating plastic makes the original material structurally weaker, which is why recycled plastic pallets are cheaper. Such as medium-duty pallets that are commonly used for internal warehousing purposes.

Whatever your business requires, you can get the best plastic pallets for the job from Rotational Plastics. We currently have 10 different pallet moulds including a couple of spill containment pallets. All out products are proudly manufacture in New Zealand using locally sourced materials.

Don’t see a product in our range that suits your needs? Contact us to discuss your requirements and the potential to custom design something for you.