Moving Towards a Pallet-Free Business Community

BY VICKI RICE, CITY OF MODESTO, RECYCLING PROGRAM COORDINATOR
SPECIAL THANKS TO RESOURCES FROM WWW.REPSCO.COM

On the 3rd Thursday of each month,  Modesto’s Chamber of Commerce “Stanislaus Green Team” meets to talk about environmental stewardship and lowering the cost of business through innovate ways to save energy by conservation of resources, recycling and waste reduction. It is open to the public and a great way to collaborate with colleagues and come up with solutions for a greener Stanislaus County.  

It was at a recent Green Team meeting, where I had the pleasure of hearing a presentation from Jeff Norstrom with REPSCO, Inc., an environmentally friendly shipping and packaging company right here in the Valley. The consumer product that caught my attention was a 100% recycled plastic slipsheet that is an economically and environmentally all-encompassing alternative to wood pallets and fiber slipsheets. Now I’m listening and want to hear more!

REPSCO, is an independent manufacturer of custom-designed extruded plastic sheet products. Their history dates back to 1971 when their predecessor company was formed as one of the pioneers in plastic recycling. In 1988, they expanded into manufacturing and focused their efforts on the cost-effective production of products made with recycled plastic. 

Innovation is a long standing tradition at REPSCO. For over 35 years, they focused on every stage of the recycling process from source separating materials, to refining their development in order to net the highest quality polymers in the post-consumer market. Post-consumer refers to incorporating materials, and in this instance plastics, discarded by end users rather than using newly manufactured materials. A true recyclers dream! This attention to detail has allowed REPSCO to reduce costs in recycling and pass those saving on to their customers. 

In today’s, environmentally conscience society, REPSCO continues to be a front runner in developing turn-key solutions for reducing customer shipping and storage costs, while increasing load handling capacity. They’ve become proficient in the production of slipsheets in customized polymer blends with specifications that can meet any unitized load size, weight and application. Their end-to-end solutions from materials acquisitions, handling and storage products to manufacturing customized products of recycled HDPE/PP plastics are scaled from small to large businesses. They are unique in a sense because they understand the transportation and storage business as well as the recycled plastic industry. This is a perfect example of how environmental stewardship can lower the cost of doing business. 

REPSCO has built their company on recycling and they share their vision with both clients and partners. They have a green initiative that encourages companies and vendors to recycle their used slipsheets, reusing former products again and again, saving money, conserving resources and reducing their environmental impact in the process. How is that possible?

  • By offering incentives to return used REPSCO slipsheets to their facilities to be recycled.
  • By showing customers how using recycled slipsheets from REPSCO can stabilize their materials handling costs.
  • By utilizing for post-consumer and post-industrial recycling in the production of their products and pass the savings on to their customers. 
  • By operating a closed loop recycling system (takes plastic items that have reached their life-cycle) and recycles them into a new product…slipsheets. 


Now that you have an understanding of what REPSCO, Inc. manufactures, I think it is equally important to know why this is vital to our environment.  From an historic perspective, overall manufacturing today is very different than the beginnings of the industrial revolution. Early mass production saw the creation of various components, usually made from raw materials, assembled and then the final product stored in warehouses where they would eventually be shipped to distributors and retails all over the world. 

It is the packaging and shipping process that led REPSCO, Inc. to come up with an alternative to the traditional wood pallet and use the slipsheet made from recycled plastics. It is estimated, that there are over 700 million wood pallets in the word today. That number represents the consumption of over 63 million trees. Because a substantial amount of wood pallets are chemically treated, that process alone reduces their overall recyclability. Did you know?

  • 6% of total U.S. lumber production is consumed in making wood pallets. 
  • By For every 11 wood pallets you don’t make, you will save 1 tree.
  • There are 25 countries that have environmentally friendly packaging requirements and some of those countries require shippers to dispose of their own packaging materials.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires pallets to be bark-and pest free.
  • The California Integrated Waste Management Board endorses slipsheet use.


So you can see, according to REPSCO, Inc., by moving towards a pallet- free world they are saving valuable resources and showing businesses the potential to realize a significant savings in their overall shipping and transportation costs while reducing their environmental impact. 

Now that you see the overall benefits of using a slipsheet made of recycled plastic, it is important to identify if REPSCO’s products meet the needs of your business. Their service commitment extends to:

Needs Assessment

Are slipsheets right for you?

With knowledge of the materials handling process, it gives REPSCO the tools they need to offer a concise, no-nonsense assessment of how using their slipsheets can fit your company’s need. Their assessment is ultimately bottom-line orientated. If their products don’t work in your business model, they will be the first to point it out. If they do, your business will be presented with a clear understanding of all the benefits to you.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

How slipsheet use makes sound economic sense

There are costs associated with converting from pallet use to slipsheets. If REPSCO slipsheets are right for your business, they will present you with a clear picture of those costs and how making the investment will pay off with dramatic savings in shipping, handling and storage expenses.

Implementation Plans

Start saving now

Once the decision is made to commit pallet-free materials handling, REPSCO is ready to go. Their experience in materials shipping, handling and storage processes gives them the tools they need to make your transition quick, economical and trouble-free. 

Recycling Programs

Closing the loop turns green into gold

REPSCO recycles what they make. Part of the savings to you and a big part of their green initiative is offering tangible economic reasons for you to participate in the recycling program.

Education

By joining the pallet-free movement, you become part of a larger economic trend toward maximizing profits in an eco-friendly way. This is one of the most exciting business trends in decades, and keeping you, your business partners and your employees aware and informed is one of the best ways to optimize its benefits to you. REPSCO is committed to providing your business with the tools you need to keep your company and its partners at the forefront of this inspiring vision. 

Continuing Improvement

REPSCO is constantly looking for more ways to save both money and resources. As part of the REPSCO family, your organization will be regularly advised of new and innovative products, concepts and techniques in the materials handling business. 

REPSCO Inc., under the leadership of Paul Bennett Jr., the company’s president, and the entire staff is committed to leading innovation in post-consumer/post-industrial plastic waste solutions. Improving their customers’ bottom line and helping reduce their impact on the environment is what drives their success and dedication. They clearly understand that any switch in the way a company handles materials is a major consideration and they welcome the opportunity to be a part of that process as we work towards a pallet-free world, saving our natural resources and recycling our plastics.