Category Archives: Uncategorized

6 Ways You’ll Save Money Using Stacking Totes

Containers for seafood

Saving money is key to success in the warehousing industry. From the high cost of renting a warehouse to shipping and labor, you need to trim costs everywhere you can. Stacking totes help you save money in more ways than one. You can use them for shipping and organizing your inventory. Learn about the many benefits of using stacking totes in your warehouse. Continue reading

Space-Saving Storage Solutions: Collapsible Storage Bins, Stack Racks & More

Warehouse of components for the electronics industry

Space is everything when it comes to renting a warehouse. Considering warehouse renting rates have jumped 28 percent from 2011 to 2015, you need to do everything you can to conserve your warehouse space. One of the best ways to conserve space is to use the right storage materials. These containers and organizers are both affordable and effective when it comes to tidying up your warehouse. Make the most of the space you have and invest in some of these space-saving storage solutions today.

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Wood Pallets and How They Affect Your Health

Wood Pallets and

How They Affect Your Health

Over the course of the past few decades, consumers around the globe have become more conscientious of the health risks associated with food and drugs. Popular restaurants have seen E.coli outbreaks, and the warnings associated with prescription and over the counter drugs have intensified.

Many seek to find the root of why our products today are at risk. Many Americans believe that the Food and Drug Administration can protect us from contamination. However, with the advent of new companies and new ways of storing products, and with logistical companies being pressured to provide quicker and more efficient service, the FDA cannot provide 100% protection against contamination.
A reason as to why this risk exists is the way in which food and drugs are stored and transported.

The use of wood pallets in this process plays a key role in whether or not contaminated products may reach the shelves of your local retailor. Many enterprises today seek viable alternatives to this traditional means of storage and transportation in order to have better peace of mind that their products will not become contaminated.
You need to understand the risks and benefits of using wooden pallets, as well as the risks and benefits of non-wooden pallets, in order to make an informed decision as to what type of transport system you should use for your products.

Why Wood??

Wooden pallets have been used in a variety of industries for a century. Many shippers still consider them a very inexpensive way to organize, store, and deliver goods.

Wooden pallets are also very robust and durable. They can be used and reused literally for decades if they are maintained properly. Wooden pallets can also be easily recycled, repurposed, and reused.


Given the constant use and reuse of wooden pallets over an extended period of time, and the different types of products stored on the pallets, certain contamination dangers become obvious.

Many wooden pallets have absorptive properties. As the pallet is continuously repurposed, this exposes the wood to a very diverse assortment of germs and bacteria. These contaminants can be absorbed and potentially passed on to the next product stored on the pallet.

Why Is This Important?

As the world changed, we saw an influx of mass-production for our most vital resources. What you eat, and the drugs you take, are both ingested into the body. If during their production they were stored in a facility that left them vulnerable to contamination, then the consumer is also vulnerable.

Wooden pallets can pose risks that jeopardize the health of those using the products it stored. To put this in perspective, a wooden pallet used at an agricultural warehouse to hold raw meat and hides, could one day be repurposed to the warehouse that supplies your local pharmacy. There are any number of real world examples that illustrate this, and typically the larger the firm, the less oversight there is when it comes to storage practices.


Concerns about bacteria, germs, and other contaminants are further exacerbated by this diverse use over the years and the lack of proper sanitation techniques between repurposing. It is also really difficult to clean wood.

Due to the number of wooden pallets constantly being repurposed and put back into immediate service, it is very easy to overlook the necessity of using proper sanitation techniques, especially for pallets used in facilities that store food and drugs.

Wooden Pallet Health
Hazards Studies

There are any number of different bacteria that can be absorbed into the wooden structure of the pallet. Different studies have produced slightly different results, but the general figures tend to agree among all the reports.

An excellent example of a carefully conducted study was done in New Orleans. The study found that 43% of all wood pallets tested in a representative warehouse in the city were contaminated with bacteria. Of that number, multiple pallets had over 1,000,000 grams of bacteria per unit. This is a very high level and guarantees cross contamination.

Types of Contamination
and the Effects

Consumers were affected by this contamination. One of the most common complaints was gastrointestinal issues. However, there have been reports of more serious illnesses associated with companies that store products in a way akin to that of Tylenol’s company. Salmonella, E. coli, and listeria are some of the more serious strains that have been harbored within wooden pallets. These are potentially life threatening after contact.

Improper Sanitation

Even attempts to sanitize these pallets have backfired. Frequently, to ease the worries of consumers, firms will claim to use cleaning agents to kill bacteria. However, many of the agents being used contain harmful pesticides that also can have serious ramifications for the health of the consumer.

The agent used, to supposedly sanitize the wood pallets that led to the recall of Tylenol, was the same cleaning agent used that caused a recall of Lipitor a year later. This strain was known as 2,4,6-Tribromoanisole (or TBA). TBA is easily identified due to its strong odor and can be, if used incorrectly, potentially fatal. While TBA is not permitted for sanitary use in the United States, other countries do not have these restrictions. The use of TBA to sanitize wooden pallets has been linked to a number of international shipments, most notably from South America.

Storage and Other

While some attempts to sanitize wood pallets have backfired, of more concern in some ways is the complete lack of sanitation that is the norm rather than the exception.

Companies and firms use pallets for a variety of reasons. Pallets can carry pretty much anything that size permits, and they are designed to be easily moved via forklift and other machines. Obviously, over the course of its usage, a pallet can be exposed to any number of pollutants.

The FDA has investigated and reported that many, if not the majority, of companies store unused pallets outside. Depending on the location, this can be a major health hazard.
For example, pallets stored outside of manufacturing plants can be susceptible to acid rain, animal feces, and other problems. If these pallets are later used to store or move ingestible items like fruits and vegetables, this can be dangerous.

What Is the Alternative?

With the many concerns swirling around the usage of wooden pallets, many companies in the food and drug sectors are seeking viable alternatives to using wood. Alternatives, in this case, are not difficult to find. Pallets can be made from a variety of different materials. The two types that are considered a much better alternative than wood are those made of plastic or metal.

There is a viable solution to wooden pallets. If a company is storing food or drugs, the FDA and industry groups have conducted research and, in most instances, recommend conversion to plastic or metal pallets.

Advantages of Non-Wooden Pallets

Plastic and metal pallets offer many upsides to their wooden counterparts. For one thing, those materials crack less easily than wood. The fewer cracks in the surface material of the pallet, the fewer bacteria can be absorbed, contaminating the pallets.

Plastic and metal are less susceptible to the elements than wood is. For example, when it rains, the moisture creates the perfect environment in wood for bacteria to grow. Plastic and metal, however, easily repel water.

Easier Sanitation

Plastic and metal pallets are easier to sanitize than wooden pallets are. Wooden pallets are likely to retain chemicals from cleaning agents. The risk of this occurring is dramatically reduced by employing pallets made of alternative materials.

Plastic and metal are impervious to acids, solvents, and odors. They also can repel infestations, mildew, and mold.
Plastic pallets also allow for heat sterilization, something that cannot be done if you use wooden pallets. This greatly reduces the chances of germ or bacterial contamination.

More Durable

Metal and plastic are even more durable than wood. Wood may be easier to recycle, but metal and plastic last longer. This means less turnover and less cross contamination due to the germ-repelling properties of plastic and metal.

Weight and Climate

Plastic pallets weigh almost 30% less than the weight of wooden pallets. This makes them easier to handle and easier to stack.

Success Rates

Companies that have begun using pallets made of alternative materials have reported success in lowering their rates of contamination. For example, firms forced to recall products due to wooden pallet bacteria and germ problems, and who then transitioned to plastic, have claimed a lower contamination rate during follow-up testing.

Concluding Thoughts

The 21st century has brought about a new consumer awareness that was not previously a factor in the global marketplace. In part due to the rapid rise of technology, buyers now have the ability to find key information about their food and their medicine. The advent of the Internet and Google is making consumers more educated than ever.
For example, a person is in a pharmacy looking for a pain reliever. Upon searching for one, he or she does a quick Google search to determine which is the safest to use. At this point, she discovers that Tylenol was recalled due to the unsanitary conditions related to the use of wooden pallets.

Are plastic food containers safe to reuse



Most people have been relying on plastic storage containers for food preservation for years
now. From Japanese takeout to last night’s spaghetti in a bowl, plastics are ubiquitous with food
storage. While these types of containers do come in handy for more reasons than you may
even realize, recently the potential health risks associated
the public, regardless of whether it is deserved or not.

Public scrutiny aside, the reality of the situation is simple: some forms of plastic containers have
been linked to serious health hazards like cancer, reproductive disorders, and more. However,
these plastics are seldom found in the containers we use everyday. So don’t go running into
your kitchen just yet!


While many are opting to completely prevent plastics
from making any sort of contact with their food, this may
be a bit of an extreme solution. The Green Guide, a
sustainable living magazine and website owned by the
National Geographic Society, has stated that there are,
in fact, many plastics in use every single day by major
brands that contain no harmful chemicals, even after
repeat uses.

According to them, the safest plastics to use in a container are
high-density polyethylene (HDPE, otherwise known as plastic #2),
low-density polyethylene (LDPE, or plastic #4) and polypropylene
(PP, or plastic #5). The overwhelming majority of products use these
kinds of plastics, making them safe for heating and washing, as well
as storing food.

Major brands such as Glad, Hefty, Saran, and Ziploc utilize these plastics in most,
but not all, of their products. It is very important to read on the bottom of the con-
tainer exactly what types of plastic fill your kitchen cabinets, as well as the shelves
at your local grocery store.

For instance, you may see these brands above and think that what you own is
safe, but several of these plasticware products use polycarbonates. While these
plastics are referred to as plastic #7, truthfully, this is a catch-all category for any
plastics that don’t fit into the 1-6 list, making it even harder to know exactly what is
inside the product itself.

These types of plastic have been shown to release harmful chemicals like Bisphe-
nol A, which can have hormone-disrupting qualities. If you are concerned about
this chemical, it may be best to avoid brands like the Rock ‘N Serve microwave
line, the Meals-in-Minutes Microsteamer, the “Elegant” Serving Line, the Tupper-
Care baby bottle, the Pizza Keep’ N Heat container, and the Table Collection.
While some of these are no longer in production, it is important to know what you
already have and use in your home, not just what is safe for purchase.

While conclusive studies are still to be made, the U.S. Food and Drug Administra-
tion is currently studying the Bisphenol A in connection with possible hindrances to
the development of the brain and prostate gland, especially in cases of infants and


Some other types of plastic containers contain harmful chemicals that can become
entangled with food after repeated use. Items sold from your local deli, for instance,
can contain plastic wraps made with polyvinyl chloride, or plastic #3. This type of
plastic can contain cancer-causing dioxins, so there is a real concern to be had there.

Another plastic we see every single day that can contain harmful chemicals is called
polyethylene terephthalate, or plastic #1. This plastic is most commonly found in your
average soda or water bottle. These types of plastics are generally fine for a single
use, but after that they, too, can release carcinogenic phthalates when used more
than once. You may find yourself tempted to reuse that water bottle for several days,
but, before you do, you should know the potential risks of doing so.

According to manufacturers, the bottle itself can physically break down after multiple
uses, opening up the possibility of contamination with foreign substances, as well as
the plastic materials itself. Studies have shown that these bottles can become a real
safe haven for bacteria after repeated uses.


One such study occurred in 2002 and was conducted by the Canadian Journal of
Public Health. Researchers from the University of Calgary collected samples from 76
water bottles that were in use by elementary school students. Upon testing these sam-
ples, the researchers discovered that over 75% of these samples contained bacteria
levels that were above accepted guidelines.

This, they claimed, may have been due to “the effect of bacterial regrowth in bottles that
have remained at room temperature for an extended period.” So, the question then
becomes: When was the last time you washed your water bottle out?

While this particular study did not find the source of the contamination, it did attribute it
to the students’ hands themselves. As the plastic broke down, these germs (which often
came from improper hygiene at home and in the restroom) would find it easier and
easier to contaminate the container. This was made worse still by the combination of
nutrients gained from “backwash,” and the room temperature environments that these
bottles were often subjected to.

Still other studies have shed new light into just how bad this contamination can get.
News Station KLTV once conducted a study where the bacteria level of water bottles
was monitored for a week, with the bottles not being washed. Cultures were taken from
the neck of the bottles, as well as the part of the bottle that goes in a person’s mouth.
The results of this study were abysmal: They found that each sample contained hordes
of bacteria. So much so, that, “All of those [water bottles] grew lots and lots of bacteria
that could make you very sick almost like having food poisoning,” Richard Wallace,
M.D., of the University of Texas Health Center, told KLTV. “[Food poisoning] can cause
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Basically the worst vomiting you have ever had in your life.”

While you may be tempted to simply wash your bottles in a dishwasher—where
extreme temperatures typically clean other dishes and containers of bacteria—this may
not be the case with bottles intended for only a single use. These types of plastics can
break down at these temperatures, likely only increasing the rate that contaminations
can and will occur inside the bottle.

Of course, you may feel the need to reuse plastic bottles on occasion, and this can still
be done relatively safely. Just remember to keep the frequency down as much as

As discussed below, plastics amount to a significant part of the world’s waste, so it is
best to try to cut back on plastic waste wherever and whenever possible. Some plastic
bottles are made from a more durable and safer type of plastic that is meant to be used
more than once. These bottles will often be marketed and sold as reusable, which is
largely the truth, but even these have their limitations.

Safer alternatives to plastic bottles exist, of course, and should be used as often as
possible. Glass bottles with protective frames and stainless steel bottles are two great
alternatives that can be used again and again, cutting down on waste and increasing
the safety of the liquid inside of them. These bottles are often a bit more expensive up
front, but they can end up saving you money in the long run.


One other common plastic used for storing food
comes in the form of polystyrene, otherwise more
commonly known as Styrofoam. Many restaurants
use these containers for leftovers and takeout
orders. The base component of Styrofoam, styrene,
has been associated with skin, eye, and respiratory
irritation, depression, fatigue, lowered and failed
kidney function, and central nervous system
damage. These types of plastics can be avoided by
swapping foods out of said containers and into safer
ones once you have them in your home.


Safer alternatives to plastic bottles exist, of course, and should be used as often as
possible. Glass bottles with protective frames and stainless steel bottles are two great
alternatives that can be used again and again, cutting down on waste and increasing
the safety of the liquid inside of them. These bottles are often a bit more expensive up
front, but they can end up saving you money in the long run.

Thankfully, there is a safe alternative to plastic food storage, should you feel the need
to make the switch. Before doing this, however, it may be best to take an “inventory” of
sorts of your plastic containers at home. On the bottom of any container there should
be a recycling code, which you can use to determine just what kinds of plastics are in
use in the container itself. Using this information, you can decide whether you will want
to make the switch to an alternative, or stick with your generally safe storage containers
that you already have.

Should you decide that a change must be made, glass is often the first choice. Glass
containers have been gaining popularity in recent years due primarily to decreases in
cost, and a general interest in alternative food storage methods. Pyrex is one such
brand that offers inexpensive and safe food storage containers made entirely of glass.
These containers may run the risk of shattering if dropped, but many people find this a
worthwhile tradeoff for peace of mind. Several other brands are now offering similar
containers of different sizes and shapes, making this a more viable alternative than

If you do decide to make the switch to glass storage, the question then becomes: What
should you do with all of your existing plastic food storage containers? Americans throw
away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year, which goes into landfills where it
can take centuries to break down. Recycling of plastic does help to put a dent in this
number, and naturally, not all (or even the majority) of plastic thrown away consists of
food storage containers. But, there is still a very real connection between discarding
food storage plastics and the overall plastic waste produced. Because of this, let’s take
a moment and show you several alternatives to throwing your plastic ware in the

Alternative # 1 – Flower Pots

Plastic containers make excellent flowerpots for a few reasons. They
keep water safely sealed inside the soil for longer than water poured
onto a flower in the ground. In addition to this, these containers can
support root growth until the plant is healthy and strong enough to be
transported to the open soil. After the transferal is complete, the con-
tainer is free to be used for the next fledging seeds.

Alternative # 2 – Bird Feeders

While plastics may not be suitable (or even healthy) for human use,
birds and squirrels will do just fine with them. Turning old containers
into hanging or perched bird feeders will not only be a safe and more
sustainable alternative to throwing them away, it will also create a
point of interest to watch as birds, squirrels, and other small animals
become aware of your new impromptu feeder.

Alternative # 3 – Piggy Bank

Have some loose change rattling around your home or car? Collect it
and turn one of your containers in a bank to accumulate coins in! Not
only is this a safe and free alternative to recycling plastics, this one
may make you some extra money! Every time you get change from a
store or café, simply take the loose change and put it inside of your
newly created bank, and sit back and watch the money pile up. It may
even be a good idea to create several of these as you go along.

Alternative # 4 – DIY iPod Boombox

This one is sure to liven things up a bit! You
can take a large storage container and cut
holes in the lid for small speakers, and then
use Styrofoam to hold the speakers in place!
Simply cut a space for your device to rest in,
and you’ve got yourself a portable party.

Alternative # 5 – First Aid Kit

Keep all of your medical essentials, like bandages, disinfectant, oint-
ment, and gauze all in one central place by converting a plastic con-
tainer into a custom first aid kit for you and your family. You can even
create several of these kits for specific members of your household,
which could include things like individual medications, personal
hygiene products, and more!


The dangers of plastics are very real, and extremely harmful to anyone with the misfor-
tune of coming into contact with them. Proper steps should be taken to ensure that the
containers you have inside your home are as safe as possible, and that they possess the
lowest risk for passing the dangerous chemicals onto and into your body.

That being said, the vast majority of the plastic storage containers in use and in produc-
tion today do not contain any of these chemicals. Finding the balance between safety,
comfort, and convenience may lead you to alternatives like glassware for your storage
needs, or you may find that your current plasticware is up to snuff and does not warrant

Whichever position you find yourself in, be certain to stay current and always be diligent
when adding new brands or containers into your kitchen lineup. In doing so, you stand the
best chance of keeping you and your family happy, safe, and healthy when using plastic
storage containers.

Wood Pallets vs. Plastic Pallets

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Looking to use pallets in your business? Not sure which ones to use? Pallets are great investments for any business and are an important part of any industry supply chain. Pallets can be made from a variety of materials, including but not limited to wood and plastic. Each offers its own advantages and disadvantages for specific business needs. The following is a simple guide that you can use to determine which pallet type is best suited to your industry needs.
Wooden Pallets vs. Plastic Pallets
The two most common pallets that are used in industries these days are the wooden and the plastic pallet.
Advantages of Wooden Pallets

  • Less expensive than plastic pallets.
  • Can be repaired easily by replacing the boards which may be worn or damaged.
  • Easily resold at a later date
  • Can collect pallet materials from recycled materials, making them environmentally friendly.
  • Can be recycled easier than plastic pallets by turning them into paper and mulch.
  • Quickly and easily constructed.
  • Feature higher friction than metal and plastic pallets.

Advantages of Plastic Pallets
There are many different advantages of plastic pallets that you need to consider. These include:

  • No delivery time restrictions, unlike normal timber pallet regulations.
  • 100 percent recyclable and can easily be turned back into new pallets.
  • Feature a 10+ year life span.
  • Highly resistant to different chemicals including alkalis and acids.
  • Safer to handle than wooden pallets, without chipping, splinters, or screw nails.
  • Four way entry provides easy pick up and moving by forklifts.
  • Able to be used in almost any climate conditions.
  • Easily stackable and storable to save space.
  • Can be cleaned with ease using chemical sanitization, steam cleaning, or hot washing to remove any unwanted bacteria.
  • Up to 30 percent lighter than wooden pallets.
  • Reduce shipping costs.

Disadvantages of Wooden Pallets

  • Cost more for air freight.
  • More difficult to clean and, if they become wet, they can encourage fungi and bacteria growth.
  • Can cause problems with warping, protruding nails, shrinking, and splinters for handlers.
  • Continuous reordering raises overall costs. This is because they are made from organic matter which can weaken and warp over time.

Disadvantages of Plastic Pallets

  • If broken, plastic pallets can’t be repaired as simply as wooden pallets. They generally have to be melted and remolded to make a new pallet.
  • Plastic pallets tend to cost more than wooden pallets, making them unsuitable for those who are on tight budgets.

Pallet Buying Tips
When looking to purchase pallets for your industry needs, it’s important to consider everything. The following are some pallet buying tips you can consider to make an informed decision.

  • What is the pallet delivery address?
  • What is the unloading scenario of your pallets: Dock or Ground?
  • What quantity will you be ordering in the pallet size you need?
  • How often do you order your pallets?
  • What pallet type do you require? Recycled or New?
  • Will the pallet be used on racking systems or floor level?
  • What products will be placed on the pallet?
  • Will pallets be double or triple stacked?

Other things to consider include:

  • The length of the pallet size needed.
  • The width of the pallet needed.
  • Entry style required: 4 way or 2 way.
  • Deckboard style: Any style, double wing, single wing, or flush.
  • Pallet style: Block style, stringer style, or both.

Tips to Reusing Pallets
When it comes to reusing a pallet for any industry needs, it’s important to make sure they’re safe for all those who will be working around them. Some of the things to consider and check when reusing pallets include:

  • Checking them for any damage. This can include water damage, cracks, boards coming apart, and more. Any type of damage can cause the integrity of the pallet to be weakened, which can result in problems with weight support.
  • Checking the old pallets for chemical damage. Chemicals can be spilt onto the pallets. This can cause discoloration and leave a harmful residue. Older pallets like these shouldn’t be used, to make sure you and your workers are safe at all times.
  • Make sure they are suitable for the products you will be placing on them. Make sure each pallet features strength enough to support heavy items. This will reduce accidents from occurring.
  • Check the safety label of the pallet to make sure they were certified pallets at some point in time.

When it comes to selecting a pallet, it’s important to get one that is best suited to your warehouse needs and requirements. By considering these advantages and disadvantages, you can make an informed decision that will suit your industry needs.  So, which pallet type did you end up choosing?

How to Refurbish a Wooden Crate

Want something new in your home? Want to try refurbishing a wooden crate? There’s nothing better than using your decorative skills to transform an old wooden crate into a new furniture piece. Wooden crates have been used for a variety of different applications in industries. These days, many people use wooden crates to store everyday household items, from magazines, CDs, and DVDs, to the TV remote. Creating a new storage solution out of an old wooden crate isn’t as hard as you think it might be. The following are some tips on how you can refurbish a wooden crate to suit your home décor.
Checking the Crate before Refurbishing
Before you refurbish any old crate, it’s important to check it thoroughly for damage or chemical residue.
Many wooden crates have been used for a variety of chemical storage solutions. This means they may have been exposed to chemical liquid spills from time to time. One way to find out whether it may have been exposed to chemicals is if it has a slight smell to it or if it features any dark discolorations from unknown liquids seeping into the wood. Although some people may refurbish old chemical storage crates, it’s advised against, as you can still be exposed to the chemicals when in close proximity to the crates.
Other Damages
From time to time you may find a crate which features some form of damage, such as cracks or boards coming off. This isn’t a big issue if you aren’t going to place anything too heavy in it. Cracks can add a more aesthetically appealing appearance, while boards coming off can easily be nailed back on. If you find the crate to be rough to the touch, a simple sanding with a wood sander can help to improve the look, feel, and texture of the crate.
What You Will Need

  • A wooden crate
  • Brush and/or rag
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Painter’s tape
  • Newspaper

Step #1: Cleaning the Crate
Depending on where you have purchased your crate and what it may have been used for previously, you will need to clean it. You can use the rag or brush to remove any dust particles or spider webs which may be on the crate. If the crate features plenty of grooves, it is best to scrub it using a brush. Although this may take a bit of effort, it can help to protect you at a later date from harmful particles that may be situated in the dust. Be sure to wear a dust mask and gloves.
If you notice some mildew, a smell, or any other blemishes, it is best to wash the crate using water and a vinegar solution. Wipe it down and let it dry before painting it.
Step #2: Priming and Painting
To make your crate come alive, simply apply a primer and the paint to your wooden crate. This will give it a new style and look which will decorate your home.  For those who are unsure what the purpose of a primer is, it helps the paint to stick better to the surface of the wood, keeping it from peeling off in the future.
Some things to remember include:

  • Use a white primer if you’re planning to finish coat using a bright or light color.
  • Select a gray primer if you plan to paint your crate a much darker color.

Spray paint or brush-on paints are both great options to use. When selecting the color, it all comes down to personal preference and what will match your surrounding area where you’ll be placing the crate.
When painting, simply:

  • Prep the area well to ensure proper ventilation. Lay down newspaper and have drop cloths ready for any spillages or drips.
  • If there are any decorative stickers already on the crate, make sure you place newspaper or painter’s tape over the top of them before painting. Make sure the painter’s tape isn’t applied directly to the sticker, as it may be damaged upon removal.
  • Apply your primer using a thin coat. Let it dry and reapply another two to three coats.
  • Apply your paint once the primer is dry. Let the paint dry before applying two to three extra coats.
  • Allow your crate to dry overnight before using.

Wooden crates come in a number of different sizes and styles to choose from. Refurbishing a crate doesn’t have to be hard; by simply following the tips above, you can easily create a new and fashionable item for your home and your storage needs. So, what color did you paint your wooden crate, and why?

Reusable and Sustainable Packaging: Why Today is the Day for Your Company to Make the Switch


Reusable and Sustainable Packaging: Why Today
is the Day for Your Company to Make the Switch

It’s no secret to anyone that the general public is more aware of the importance of sustainability now than ever before. In fact, the chances are excellent that most people you know have taken at least a few steps toward living cleaner, greener lifestyles on a personal basis. Whether they’re doing their part by recycling whenever possible, or choosing to carpool and use public transportation more often, people everywhere are doing whatever they can to reduce their carbon footprints and preserve the planet’s precious resources.

This move toward global sustainability isn’t just limited to private households and suburban neighborhoods, either. Businesses and corporations everywhere are on the bandwagon, as well, thanks to increased pressure from the media and the government to prioritize eco-friendliness. In fact, recent studies suggest that within the next decade, sustainability could well replace cost as one of the packing industry’s major challenges and priorities. Let’s take a closer look at how sustainability is changing the way we do business and explore the benefits of getting your company on board sooner rather than later.


What Types of Changes Are We Seeing?

When you’re the owner of a business that does things the old-fashioned way as far as packaging and shipping, it can be hard to picture what it means for a given company to “go sustainable”. The following are some of the most effective and popular ways modern facilities and businesses are making sustainable shipping practices the order of the day.


Making the Most of Shipping Trailers

Anyone that’s ever explored ways to reduce their own personal carbon footprint already knows that cutting down on transportation fuel costs is one of the first things that should make the to-do list. For instance, instead of each person in a family driving their own automobile everywhere they go, they might carpool, walk, cycle, or take public transportation more often.

Sturdy Reusable Shipping Containers

Reusable/sustainable packaging solutions that can be easily and safely stacked one on top of the other are also becoming increasingly popular. Stronger containers that can be stacked higher than average allow a given company to maximize a trailer’s vertical space and ensure that each truck is truly filled to capacity for each shipping run. This is a great way to make sure the best possible use is being made of warehouse or storeroom space.

Reusable containers also cut down considerably on the amount of shipping waste that is created though the process of doing business, as well as the fuel costs that would be required to dispose of that waste. Instead of one-use cardboard boxes and corrugated containers, alternatives like wooden crates, sturdy industrial plastic totes, and more are the smart business’s pick when it comes to being environmentally responsible.

Increased Visibility

Here in the information age, a business’s clients expect to be given more insight into how an order they’ve placed is progressing. Knowing and understanding more about where their shipment is at a given time and when it can be expected to arrive, in turn, helps them to plan their business expenses better. Better business management ultimately adds up to fewer wasted resources overall.


How Big of a Problem Are Shipping Containers?

The corrugated boxes and shipping containers many companies still rely on exist in such abundance because they really are typically only used once before they’re discarded. In 1990 alone, producers of such containers manufactured around 25 billion corrugated boxes. (That’s about 100 boxes for every single person living in the United States at the time.) Such boxes were responsible for nearly 13% of all municipal waste – about 24 million tons worth.

In regards to the big picture, packaging waste still accounts for nearly one third of the entire waste stream today. When you seriously consider the magnitude of those numbers, it’s not hard to see why modern businesses are currently under so much pressure to go sustainable sooner rather than later. Efforts that target packing and transportation-related waste in particular are capable of having a significant effect on the nation’s waste situation.


What Types of Businesses Can Benefit from Sustainable Packaging and How?

When most business owners picture reusable shipping containers, they picture massive crates that are cargo-ready – the kind you see being loaded onto freight trains and cargo ships. While there certainly are freight-sized options that are sustainable, reusable packaging on the whole is really quite versatile. That said, absolutely any business that requires the ability to ship and/or store goods can benefit.

Restaurants, bakeries, grocers, and catering companies are reducing shipping costs and cutting back on product damage by making the switch to sturdy wooden or plastic shipping crates capable of preserving the integrity of produce and other edibles. Offices and retail establishments are getting organized by investing in items like nesting totes and organizer bins. There are even sustainable packaging options available these days for the storage and transport of chemicals, paints, and other toxic substances.

Going sustainable provides multiple business benefits regardless of the industry you’re in. The following are just a few of them.

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When you crunch the numbers as far as what disposable packaging costs your company annually versus what reusable packaging would cost, you immediately see how reusable packaging saves you quite a bit of money, especially over the long haul. Reusable options cost more up front, but, as they don’t represent a recurring cost the way corrugated containers do, they eventually pay for themselves.

Switching to reusable packaging saves you money when it comes to labor costs. Instead of wasting manpower breaking down boxes or preparing disposable packing materials for recycling, you can put your employees to work on other tasks. You won’t need to pay as much in overall disposal costs.

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Relying on disposable shipping options means relying on flimsier, less reliable packaging that won’t protect your product as well as a reusable option will. Naturally, this is going to add up to a certain degree of product damage and lost revenue, especially over time.

Switching to wooden crates, plastic totes, or other similar options is a great way to protect delicate products like produce, artisan products, or glassware. Shipments are more likely to arrive completely intact, and products are better able to withstand extended periods of time spent in storage facilities. Your customers and clients will be happier with the quality of their products.

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Since reusable shipping and storage containers come in so many different varieties, making the switch means you’re opening the door to a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to how you do business. What new products would you add to your catalog if you could be sure that they’d survive a rough shipping trip? How many ways could you streamline your delivery methods if you had more choices as far as shape or size when it comes to the containers you use?

As you can see, reusable containers are about more than simply doing one’s part to preserve the environment. They’re strongly associated with higher profit margins, better customer service, and better business management overall.


What to Look for in a Reusable Container Supplier

Of course, deciding that your company is ready to make the jump to reusable packaging is one thing … but deciding how to proceed is another. There are naturally a lot of questions you need answered first. Where can you find the best reusable packaging options? Most importantly, what makes the difference between a great packaging supplier and a merely passable one?

Manufacturers, vendors, and distributors that specialize in sustainable industrial packaging solutions are more common than you might otherwise think. However, it’s important to realize that there’s an art to building a partnership with the right one. Here’s what you and your business associates should be looking for.

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Naturally, you want to make sure you’re dealing with someone that you know you can trust to supply you with cost-effective, solid packing solutions for a long time to come. That said, reputation really matters. Before deciding on a given supplier, look into their standing with the Better Business Bureau and check out any testimonials they may have on their website.

You’ll also want to see what other customers are saying about their experience with the company via online reviews. Would the great majority of this supplier’s customers choose to do business with them again? In cases where people weren’t happy with the service, what were the reasons? Did the company respond to the person’s complaint and attempt to make things right?

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Many businesses that make the jump to reusable containers eventually find that they no longer need some of the containers they originally invested in. Perhaps they want to change things up, the better to suit a new product line or business model. Alternatively, they may simply no longer have a use for the same number of containers they once needed. In many cases, the containers are still in excellent condition and could be just as useful to another facility as they were to theirs.

That said, choose a container supplier that not only sells reusable packing options, but can purchase them back for resale for you. Reselling is a great way to preserve even more resources and be even more environmentally conscious as far as how you do business. It’s also an excellent way to recoup some of your original investment in the materials.

You may find it helpful to determine whether or not the company refurbishes containers that show a little wear and tear. This increases your chances of being able to sell the product back eventually, even if it’s a little banged up from years of solid use.

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Yes, reusable shipping containers represent an investment in the future of your business. However, going sustainable shouldn’t break the bank or completely wreck your bottom line. Look for companies that clearly care about providing their customers with product that is not only useful, but representative of a good value.

You’ll also want to find out how the company goes about tallying the final cost of a given transaction. Make sure that any applicable fees and upcharges will be presented to you up front so that you know right out of the gate how much you’ll be paying. Don’t be afraid to ask outright about quality guarantees, special discounts you may qualify for, and so forth. Overall, you should feel like you’re getting a great deal on a superb product you can count on.

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Last, but definitely not least, you should feel comfortable on a personal level with the supplier you choose. When you have questions or concerns, do reps from the company get back to you promptly with answers? Are you happy with the way they handle customer care overall? Do you feel like the company values your business and is invested in keeping you happy?
Overall, you should be satisfied with the experience of doing business with the entity you select. Transactions should be simple and nearly effortless. You should feel that you have adequate support at all times.


At the end of the day, making the switch to reusable, sustainable shipping options is more than just a great way to reduce the negative impact your business may have on the environment. It’s a highly beneficial way for your company to take its services to the next level. Explore the possibilities today!