If you are considering your pallet options, you would be seriously amiss to not be considering refurbished heat treated pallets for a wide range of reasons. Pallets have been the universal method of transport since the 1940’s. Over the year’s pallet processing has evolved.

Today, heat treated pallets are considered the height of industry standard. Many pallets are treated with chemicals which can be dangerous to both the manufacturer, shipping and handlers and the end user.

Heat treated pallets are considered superior to chemical treated pallets simply because there is no concern when it comes to chemicals leaching. It is a safer option for a wide range of reasons including improving product safety.

In recent years, there have been food and pharmaceutical recalls based on finding trace amounts of chemicals used to treat wood pallets in the products that were packaged on the pallets.

The concern is so large about chemicals and the danger they pose that The International Phytosanitary Standard for Wood Packaging – ISPM15, which has recently been adopted by 14 countries and all the European Union, requires that all wood used in packaging and pallet construction is debarked and heat treated and stamped with a mark indicating compliance.



Heat treating is the preferred method of treating pallets but unless you are in the shipping/receiving industry you may not realize why pallets must be treated. There are three main reasons that wood pallets must be treated:


  • To stop the spread of invasive insects
  • To stop the spread of fungus and disease
  • To create a stronger pallet

Invasive insects can hitch a ride buried in a wooden pallet and create havoc in a new home, pallets are required to be treated in one of two ways to avoid the spread of invasive species.

They are either fumigated with chemicals (methyl bromide) or they must be heat treated to 50C. Treatment of wood pallets keeps the risk of damage to the ecosystem down, so it is a necessity.

Treated wood is stronger wood. Both the heat process and the chemical process keeps wood from deteriorating and creates a stronger more reliable wood.

Wooden Pallets


As mentioned earlier, recently product recalls were made because traces of the chemicals used to treat pallets were found in the products. The scariest part of the recall is not that these products were found but how many products have never been tested and have slipped through!

Until the late 1980’s the real threat of chemicals was not a consideration and it took many years later for the threat to be considered seriously by regulating bodies. Today addressing the threats of chemicals to both human health and the environment are taken much more seriously.

We understand more about how chemicals can cause damage years after they have been used. The threat of chemically treated pallets is very real.

Issues with chemically treated pallets include:

  • Damage to the environment during the treatment process
  • Risk to the manufacturer during the process
  • Risk to the end user
  • Disposing of chemically treated pallets
  • The limited reuse of these types of pallets

Fumigation processes to treat pallets with chemicals happen in a few different ways, but in each scenario, many chemicals are sprayed on the pallets with many chemicals entering the air space. Manufacturers are near these chemicals every day which can be a health risk. The end user can be exposed to chemical residue as well.

Disposing of chemically treated pallets is a challenge. If they reach their end of cycle and parts must be disposed of, they cannot be burned without releasing toxic smoke, they cannot be thrown in landfills for fear of chemical leaching. These types of pallets cannot be reused as freely as heat treated pallets because of the danger of the chemical leaching.


Heat treated pallets do not share any of the negatives that chemically treated pallets do. They are an environmental friendly option that can be reused repeatedly with confidence.

There is no threat to the environment during treatment and there is no threat to the end user. Throughout the life cycle of a heat-treated pallet there is never a point where they can cause damage to the environment.


There are three reasons that businesses are choosing to use refurbished heat treated pallets, instead of buying new pallets.

  • They are good for the environment
  • They can save you a ton of money
  • You get the same amount of service life

Study after study has shown that what is good for the environment is good for business. There are currently millions of pallets in circulation, with new pallets being added each month.

Pallets are made to be durable and long lasting, yet many businesses do not utilize them to their fullest life span. Used pallets that have been refurbished can positively affect the environment in many ways:

  • Less production of new pallets means less production of carbon gases
  • Used pallets that are refurbished means less raw materials need to be used
  • Buying used pallets that have been refurbished to like new mean less overall waste


One of the best proofs of what is good for the environment is good for business, is the cost savings. It has already been established that purchasing refurbished heat treated pallets is a better choice for protecting the environment. There are several benefits to business as well:

  • Promoting environmental awareness as part of your corporate culture
  • They keep costs down

Purchasing used completely refurbished to like new heat treated pallets, cements the idea with other businesses and the consumer that your corporate culture favors environmental safety. Incorporating used pallets that are processed safely, into your warehouse makes a statement about the type of business you are.

There is also a self-serving element to choosing these types of pallets, they are less expensive. Buying used can shave off a significant amount of money from your yearly operating costs.

You get to promote environmental consciousness and your business gets to save on costs. It is truly a win-win situation for any business. It makes a great deal of sense to choose used refurbished heat treated pallets.

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