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99 Percent Invisible: Wooden Pallets Carry Environmental Costs Along with Their Loads – January 10, 2014

Logging, invasive insects are the problem

Consider for a moment the humble wood pallet. It is so ubiquitous that it’s all but invisible. It is so plainly constructed – of raw wood and nails – that most people never give it a second glance.

Yet the wood pallet is one of the workhorses of our global economy, a key part of the system that moves just about every product you touch. Combined with a hydraulic forklift, the wood pallet is the essential platform for transporting goods from warehouses to store shelves.

Given the wood pallet’s universality, it shouldn’t be surprising that the pallet carries with it a significant environmental burden. For starters, there is the pallet’s incredible… more

by: Jack Wax

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