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Merchants first to sign up to new pallet re-use scheme

Builders merchants Bradfords Building Supplies and MKM, along with distributor SIG, are among the first to sign up to a new sustainable solution to the problem of the lack of pallet reuse in the UK construction industry.

The Pallet LOOP™ is the sector’s first circular economy, carbon net zero, pallet reuse scheme. Founded by some of the biggest names in the UK pallet industry. Every year around 18 million pallets are manufactured for the UK construction industry, however, fewer than 10% are currently reused. The Pallet LOOP will deliver a more sustainable pallet distribution model. Centred around the principles of ‘recover, repair and reuse’, The Pallet LOOP aims to eliminate avoidable pallet waste in the construction sector by incentivising pallet returns via a cost-effective, easy-to-use, deposit-based system. Estimates suggest that up to 10% of the construction waste stream is pallets, which is costly from both a financial and an environmental perspective.

The green Loop pallets are stronger than existing designs. LOOP pallets will be distributed to building materials manufacturers, which can use them to transport products to builders’ merchants and construction sites nationwide. Building material manufacturers will pay a deposit per pallet (along with a separate issue fee that the manufacturer absorbs in much the same way they do today with a packaging charge) to The Pallet LOOP. As the pallets move through the supply chain, the deposit will pass from manufacturer to merchant to end user. Once materials reach their final destination, pallets can be stacked and stored ready for collection by The Pallet LOOP, which has a dedicated recovery infrastructure in place. Pallet collection is simple and users will be able to book a pick up slot via phone or online. Once a collection is booked, pallets will be picked up from as little as 72 hours later – reducing site clutter. Deposits are then repaid, in full, to the end-user.

Timetabled for operational roll out in 2022, The Pallet LOOP is a joint venture between Paul and Ryan Lewis (formerly HLC Wood Products) and Scott Group – one of the UK’s leading pallet producers.

Paul Lewis said: “Adoption of The Pallet LOOP requires a shift in mindset from ‘deliver, distribute, discard’ to ‘recover, repair and reuse’ – but we’re confident the time is right and that the UK construction industry is ready to embrace this transformational shift towards a circular solution. This is evidenced by the number of companies that have stepped forward to welcome our launch, sign our charter, and investigate how The Pallet LOOP might work for them. The last eighteen months have challenged us all to adopt new ways of working. Throughout the pandemic, the phrase ‘build back better’ has been widely used and several new initiatives have launched with leading industry players stating their commitment to a clean recovery. The Pallet LOOP model is perfectly aligned with that thinking. With world leaders meeting in Glasgow to discuss climate change, we are offering the construction sector a greener pallet solution, with clear sustainability and cost saving benefits, that can support the country as it works towards its ambitions of net zero emissions by 2050.”

The Pallet LOOP is a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) and the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF). The Pallet LOOP also has Construct Zero Business Champion status.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Fiona Russell-Horne
Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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