Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Retailers Ban Plastic Pallets for Food Shipments

Wal-Mart Latest to Implement Ban on PBDE Flame Retardant

Question remains: Will more retailers refuse to accept any food shipments on plastic pallets containing large quantities of the controversial flame retardant?

The Washington Post reports that Wal-Mart is joining a growing list of companies, states, and international governments working to ban the use of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), a chemical fire retardant the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies as a “possible human carcinogen…,” which is used in numerous consumer and commercial products.
Wal-Mart’s PBDE ban applies to consumer goods, and as such is a good first step.   However stores, like Wal-Mart, that sell food should also reconsider policies still allowing delivery of produce and grocery items on plastic pallets containing large levels of that same flame retardant.
 For example, Intelligent Global Pooling System (iGPS) is the largest plastic pallet rental company in the U.S. Most of its customers are food producers and grocery manufacturers.
According to its own Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) conducted by Environmental Resources Management, each new iGPS pallet contains 3.4 lbs of decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE).
 Whole Foods in a letter to its vendors in August 2009 said it would “not accept product on plastic pallets,” and that “product shipped on plastic pallets will be rejected.” To our knowledge no other food retailer has followed suit yet.
 The mounting laws and regulations banning decaBDE may cause suppliers and retailers to revisit the use of plastic pallets containing this chemical, particularly those selling vulnerable consumer goods like food and pharmaceuticals.
  • Maine passed a law in 2007 banning decaBDE in household goods.  In 2010 it  broadened this law to cover shipping pallets. The ban on plastic pallets begins January 1, 2012.
  • Maryland passed a law last year banning decaBDE for all products.  The ban on some products begins immediately; the ban on plastic pallets begins after December 31, 2013. 
Unfortunately both Maine and Maryland have “grandfathered” the millions of plastic pallets in existing warehouses and pools.
  • On the other hand, Oregon has banned decaBDE use for all purposes effective January 1, 2011.  The law makes clear that “it is unlawful for any person to: 1) introduce into commerce; or 2) deliver for introduction into commerce in Oregon any product containing more than 0.10% by mass of” decaBDE.
The Life Cycle Analysis on the iGPS pallets indicates a weight of 47.5 lbs of which 3.4 lbs is decaBDE flame retardant.  That means the decaBDE content is 7.2 percent of the overall pallet composition – far exceeding the Oregon law’s allowance.
California Watch reports iGPS is seeking an exemption from the law.  In a statement to the publication iGPS said: “While the attempt to single out plastic shipping pallets now – years after the statute was enacted – is questionable, we are confident that both the underlying statute and any follow-on rule making will not affect iGPS operations....”
  • Vermont has banned decaBDE in mattresses, mattress pads, upholstered furniture, televisions and computers.
  • Washington has also banned decaBDE in mattresses, upholstered furniture, televisions and computers.
 States considering legislation to ban the flame retardant include: Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, and New York.
 The United States is not alone in its concerns about decaBDE. In April 2008, the European Union banned decaBDE from use in electrical and electronic equipment.
 There is growing momentum for “field-to-fork” safety policies in the U.S.  Shortly before he retired, Senator Christopher Dodd, co-author of the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act, urged the FDA to work to ensure that decaBDE in plastic shipping pallets did not enter the food supply.
 Dodd’s letter in part stated that “DecaBDE is known to leach out of plastic, and the EPA is concerned about the possible negative health and environmental impact resulting from exposure to the chemical.”  Senator Dodd recommended FDA “issue notification to food manufacturers, transporters and retailers…that plastic pallets containing decaBDE are inappropriate for use in scenarios that may bring decabromine into contact with food.”
 The National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) applauds the actions of Wal-Mart to ban decaBDE from its consumer product shelves, but we would encourage all retailers to review and analyze policies relating to the plastic pallets transporting the goods – particularly food products.
 The solid wood packaging industry is working proactively in the field-to-fork safety effort by contributing best handling guidelines for wood pallets and containers used in the food industry.  In August, we provided preliminary suggestions to FDA; because they were well received, NWPCA formed a blue-ribbon task group to refine our safe handling recommendations. NWPCA will distribute these guidelines to FDA and to our members for use by their food-industry customers.
 Wood is a natural product used not only to transport produce and groceries, but as an actual component of some food products like ice cream bars, popsicles, lollipops, coffee stir sticks, corn dogs and the like. Wood pallets are the benchmark for fire safety and do not require chemical flame retardants.
Click here to read article in The Washington Post  

Source content: National Wooden Pallet & Container Association

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Export Packaging Regulations Helpful Web Pages

ISPM 15 (packaging heat treatment) Document:
ISPM 15 Country Implementation List:
American Lumber Standard Committee WPM Enforcement Procedures:
USDA Frequently Asked Questions (general info regarding ISPM 15):

Please contact us if we can be of service with your wood or corrugated export packaging needs.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Triple-wall Corrugated Boxes to Protect Fragile Products

If you are packing fragile products for delivery then you should use the right supplies for the packaging.Corrugated cardboard triple walled boxes are usually practically as robust as many of the plywood boxes which are available today. Cardboard is not going to weigh as heavily as timber so small cardboard boxes and triple walled boxes are a less expensive option when you’re shipping products from the country. Make sure that you read all of the terms and conditions on the contract, should you hold back until you obtain the loading bill then find that something just isn’t covered; it may be too far gone to alter things.
Once you purchase triple wall boxes and small cardboard boxes for packaging it may be beneficial to get the best quality cardboard that you can, only by doing this are you able to be sure that your products will get to the intended recipient in good order. Make sure that you pack your triple walled boxes and small cardboard boxes tightly and there’s no space that the objects can move when the box is lifted. Corrugated triple wall boxes and small cardboard boxes help make superb packaging providing you package the boxes cautiously and also make certain you have selected the proper strength for your personal goods.
You do not want your products being shifting inside the cardboard boxes or they could bump with each other and break up, which is the thing you don’t want. Nobody wants to pay for pricey freight then find that the business you’re exporting to is not going to accept items since they’re damaged. Make sure that you choose a freight company that covers you for loss and damage and that are responsible for ensuring that the packages attain their final desired destination without trouble. If you fail to package your products appropriately you may find that invalidates your insurance claim.
You shouldn’t utilize small cardboard boxes over and over again since they lose potency and efficacy and won’t provide the type of safe packaging that you are searching for. You should always wrap fragile products for example china in bubble wrap or a similar type of cushioned wrapping. If you can find gaps inside the box then you certainly should fill them up with more bubble wrap or loose filler.
Cardboard is employed in the marketplace for freight and inland shipping and it comes in three strengths, single wall, double wall and triple wall boxes. To be certain your products will be safe whilst they are in transit select triple wall boxes and choose a box as near to the item size as possible. If you simply cannot find the appropriate size triple wall boxes and small cardboard boxes then it may be worth getting in touch with one of the numerous suppliers who are able to enable you to have bespoke cardboard boxes for your personal products.

Contect Source: This Week In Technology

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Heavy Duty Triple-wall Boxes for Shipping and Product Storage

Many businesses lose money because their stock is ineffectively stored. European companies often use heavy duty triple-wall corrugated export boxes to store stock in their warehouses because these shipping boxes are built to last. One of the problems that businesses face is that while some stock is moved quite quickly other items do not, the stock left behind can soon become damaged in the search for goods that need to be shipped. Heavy duty boxes and pallet boxes give added protection to items that are stored in your warehouse and prevent the stock from getting damaged.

Jumbo export boxes with their robust construction are designed to withstand virtually anything that loading and shipping can do to them. If you want to keep your merchandise safe while it is in transit then seriously strong pallet boxes are what you need. These heavy duty boxes are ideal in situations where cargo needs to be multi-stacked when they are loaded into containers. Export boxes are primarily designed for business purposes but they are also unbeatable for safe storage when you are moving home or offices. The boxes can be sold individually and are delivered as flat packs.

If your company regularly ships merchandise abroad then you know how hard it can be to ensure that your load arrives at its destination in one piece. When you choose heavy duty boxes that are built to take significant wear and tear, you can rest assured that you won't be bothered with insurance claims because your merchandise will arrive safe and sound. Pallet boxes are ideal for shipping goods abroad because these boxes are crush proof, which means that the things inside them are safe.

Export boxes and other heavy duty boxes are a lot cheaper than you might think yet they could potentially save you thousands of pounds in damaged merchandise. The rigidly constructed shipping boxes are ideal for storing heavy goods and for use in the international shipping and export of merchandise to foreign markets. Why waste money on boxes that will not provide adequate protection to goods that are being exported to other lands when you can give them all the protection they need with heavy duty boxes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Export Packaging Update: US Canada Exemption May End Soon

The bilateral agreement between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) exempting wood packaging materials (WPM) moving between the countries from ISPM 15 enforcement may be coming to an end.  The ruling is currently under comment.  The US is recommending full phase in by the middle of 2012.

Reasoning for ISPM 15 enforcement is to mitigate the introduction or reintroduction of indigenous and non-indigenous forest pests associated with the movement of wood packaging material from Canada into the United States. 

Please feel free to contact us at for more details.

Content sources:
Edgar Deomano of National Wooden Pallet and Container Association
Bryan Smalley of Timber Products Inspection.