Recycled pallets are plastic pallets that have reached the end of their usable life and have been recycled. Plastic pallets can be reprocessed into new plastic pallets, or their plastic can be reprocessed into a completely new plastic product. Since most plastics are made from high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, they can be broken down and reprocessed into almost any HDPE-based plastic product.
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Process of Recycling Pallets
When a plastic pallet is sent to a recycling center, it is likely to be cleaned, if necessary, and then processed through an industrial plastic shredder. Once shredded, a combination of granulators, grinders, and other processing equipment are often necessary to make the plastic material ready for reprocessing. Once all of those steps are complete, if the plastic material is to be used for construction of a new pallet, the material can be taken to an injection molder. Injection molding is the process by which most plastic pallets are made. The process begins with loading the plastic material into a conveyance channel, where a long screw heats and pressurizes it. Once the plastic material has become molten, it is injected into a mold shaped like the intended pallet product. The molten plastic forms to the contours of the mold and begins to resemble its final configuration. Once it has taken shape, it is allowed to cool and harden. Any additional necessary process like deflashing and branding are then applied, after which the new recycled plastic pallet is ready for shipping to customers. There are a few other methods by which plastic pallets are produced, but injection molding generally produces pallets of the strongest and sturdiest quality.
Benefits of Using Recycled Pallets
Plastic pallets boast many advantages over wood pallets: they are stronger and more durable, they can be engineered to be corrosion-resistant, they are generally resistant to inhospitable weather conditions, and they pose a substantially decreased risk of fire compared to wooden pallets. Their shelf life can also be up to five or six times as long as that of wooden pallets, which usually don’t survive more than two years of use. When a plastic pallet does reach the end of its usable life, it needs to be cleaned and processed. Plastic shredding companies can reduce the used pallet to a manageable size, and further size reduction and texture regulation is usually necessary to prepare any recycled plastic for reprocessing. Once reprocessed, though, newly recycled plastic pallets feature all of the same qualities of durability and strength as brand new plastic pallets.