Industry Launches New Initiative – ‘Nature’s Packaging’
11 Apr 2016
The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, in conjunction with a couple of other industry trade groups, launched in March of this year a new public relations initiative aimed at dispelling myths and negative press around the environmental impact of wooden pallets.
The campaign, appropriately titled ‘Nature’s Packaging’, will promote the environmental benefits of wooden pallets and packaging to customers and industry professionals alike. The crux of the campaign will be the publication of educational materials distributed through the package commissioning departments of well-placed Fortune-500 companies.
As part of the initiative, a website will be created to host educational literature alongside short, easily digestible brochures and videos. These resources are intended to aid pallet manufacturers in instructing existing and prospective customers alike on the outstanding track record of the timber packaging industry. The website, Naturespackaging.org, was initially launched on March 1, and it is expected that new material will continue to be added to the site over the five-year course of the campaign.
The specific environmental benefits of choosing wood as a packaging material lie in its sustainability, making the choice a responsible and economical one for any business. ‘Nature’s Packaging’ highlights how, in North America, the replacement rate of trees felled to produce lumber is greater than the rate of removal. So our forests are not only being sustainably used by the timber industry, but are experiencing renewed growth as a result.
Other benefits derived from the use of wood pallets include the fact that timber-based packaging components help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating the effects of global warming and climate change. Wood pallets and packaging are also highly recyclable, cutting down landfill waste in a way that plastic pallets cannot.
Campaign managers, however, are keen to keep the tone of the initiative positive and friendly. Whilst the core idea that wood is more sustainable than plastic as a packaging material will be promoted, ‘Nature’s Packaging’ should not be viewed as the opening shots in a public relations battle with the plastic pallet industry. The campaign does provide plenty of fact-based ammunition for countering the attacks of other groups, however, with a focus on the scientific and evidence-based benefits of wood.
At a time when environmental sensitivity is perhaps the highest it has ever been, wood packaging industry leaders often complain about misinformation in the public domain concerning the effects on the environment of the use of timber products. Issues around the sustainable management of forests and the scope for recycling new wooden pallets are at the forefront of consumers’ minds when it comes to choosing a packaging supplier.
Timber has consistently been utilised for packaging products due to the fact that wooden pallets price is far less than their plastic counterparts. Now that it can be shown that the cost to the environment is equally low, wooden pallets probably aren’t going anywhere any time soon.