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Bradfords and Tarmac trial Pallet Loop recycling scheme

22 Nov 22 Latest companies to trial the Pallet Loop pallet recycling scheme are builders’ merchant Bradfords Building Supplies and materials producer Tarmac.

Bags of cement are loaded using the distinctive green pallet of The Pallet Loop
Bags of cement are loaded using the distinctive green pallet of The Pallet Loop

Bradfords Building Supplies has taken its first delivery of Tarmac bagged cement loaded on green Pallet Loop pallets into its Glastonbury branch, kicking off the first end-to-end trial of a new circular economy pallet re-use scheme for the UK construction sector.

Bradfords and Tarmac are now trialling Loop’s distinctive green pallets to move goods between their businesses and out to a select number of Bradfords’ customers across Somerset.

The Pallet Loop is designed to reduce packaging waste from the building material supply chain. Currently, wooden pallets are mostly considered single-use items. Loop pallets are designed to be used multiple times. They look like regular pallets but are painted green to distinguish them, and indicate that they are returnable.

The Pallet Loop operates using a returnable pallet charge (RPC) that incentivises re-use. By attaching a value to the pallet, which is refunded at the point of return, The Pallet Loop provides a financial motivation for individuals and companies to put pallets back into the Loop, rather than skipping or scrapping them after just one use.  [See our May 22 feature In the Loop for more details.]

Giles Bradford, head of sustainability at Bradfords Building Supplies, said: “We see examples of both unsafe pallets and pallet waste every day across our sector. They’re a crucial enabler for the construction industry but the evidence of stacks of pallets clogging merchant branches or being skipped on-site is only too apparent. It’s important for us to assess environmental sustainability at every stage of the supply chain. Trialling The Pallet Loop is the latest step in our efforts to reduce our own environmental impact but looks to support a much wider benefit across the sector.

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“We are delighted to be supporting the initiative and looking forward to seeing how the trial progresses. Developers and trades that end up in receipt of the distinctive Loop pallets during the Bradfords / Tarmac trial should either return them to us on their next visit or look to load it onto a Bradfords vehicle the next time one visits their site, after which the refundable pallet charge will be credited.”

Tarmac packed products director Garry Gregory said: “Pallets are a staple within the industry and are heavily relied upon to store and distribute construction goods and materials. The Pallet Loop re-use scheme is key to reducing waste and the demand for natural resources, ensuring we use and supply pallets in a greener, more sustainable way… We are looking forward to seeing how the trial progresses and hope to see a successful roll out of the scheme in the months ahead.”

Paul Lewis, founder of The Pallet Loop, said: “We are delighted that Tarmac and Bradfords have initiated the first end-to-end trial of our pallets. Both companies are forward-thinking in their approach to sustainability and have clearly recognised the value that a circular economy pallet reuse scheme will have not just for their businesses – but also their customers, the wider industry, and the environment. We’ve spent the last year speaking to key players throughout the construction sector, explaining the simplicity of our model and how easily it can be integrated into the sector. Tarmac and Bradfords are now proving that in practice – putting the Loop to the test. We look forward to working with both companies on this trial as we plan the wider roll out of The Pallet Loop in early 2023.”

[Episode 95 of the Re:Construction podcast featured a discussion about The Pallet Loop. You can subscribe to the podcast for free from all usual podcast outlets or listen directly at www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/podcast

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