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January-February-2015

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allets, wooden boxes and bins beyond reuse come back as mulch, as bedding, as fuel." That's not just a line from NWPCA's Pallets Move the World® video, it's a fact. Wooden pallets can be recycled many times over, however at some point, their transporting days are over and a new life cycle begins. That new life may also come in forms other than mulch, bedding and fuel, as PalletCentral shared with our readers this past year. In Houston, Texas, a custom wood floor specialist, Greg Schenck, bought truckloads of weathered, old and damaged pallets which he turned into a stunning, and structurally sound, work of art underfoot. His inspiration came from a daily drive past ship yards where stacks of wooden pallets were awaiting a new life. Turning pallets into a finished flooring material is a great example of a type of recycling called upcycling. Architects and designers across the globe are starting to incorporate large and small scale commercial projects with wooden pallets. So many, in fact, that wooden pallets are now receiving recognition in reports from the Association for Retail Environments as a "material highly favored by retailers." They are natural, easily accessible and configurable, and very cost effective. CLAE footwear retail space incorporated wooden pallets for central display areas, walls and customer benches for trying on shoes. The Urban Coffee Farm space at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival engaged visitors by telling the story of coffee from jungle to café through the use of pallets. Inalco ceramic tile manufacturer in Spain transformed their entire warehouse space and showroom with thousands of wooden pallets stacked as backdrops and holding samples of product. This fall, PalletFest, a two-day upcycling celebration was held in Denver, Colorado. The organizers were successful in engaging attendees with pallet mazes, displays and artistic creations. The greater impact left with people was a better understanding for the critical role the recycling industry has played for the environment for 40+ years, and knowledge of the much broader "wood is good" message about forestry and sustainability. Wood is the only 100% renewable, recyclable and reusable product available. "Old Wood, New Markets" (page 36) shares a few business nuggets about animal bedding. As you'll read, it's not a one-size fits all product, however, the value-added possibilities of this segment are strong. These are just some of the great stories that we're excited to share as the positive image from upcycling raises our products' profile in a very constructive way. You might not sell pallets into this market, but with more than 1.8 billion pallets in service in the United States each day, 93% of which are wood, having the public and commercial interests celebrate our products is a good thing. New life continues every day with new ideas and innovations from the wood packaging industry, and other professionals looking for ways to recycle, re-use or upcycle wooden pallets…it's all good. Nature's Packaging has a new presence on NWPCA's redesigned website. Learn more, comment on a blog, or send us one of yours via PalletCentral.com. PC 38 PalletCentral • January-February 2015 palletcentral.com INDUSTRY P Nature's Packaging

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