Many more suppliers and retailers of a variety of products, especially food and beverages, are learning the value of reusable packaging solutions like hygienic plastic pallets for their goods. Unfortunately, what they are also learning is that the prevalence of plastic pallet piracy is increasing. According to the Texas Retailers Association, plastic theft is responsible for over $10 million in losses to sales organizations in the Houston area alone.
The Problem of Reusable Plastic Piracy
To some, it may seem to be a perfect crime. Plastic pallets are often left in large quantities on loading docks or behind supermarkets and are typically unattended for long periods of time. Criminals, who assume no one is looking for plastic pallet thieves, simply head over to wherever the pallets are located, sidestep whatever usually meager security measures are in place, and load up their trucks.
They then take the pallets to recycling centers and exchange them for cash, which, once thousands of pounds of plastic pallets have been collected, can add up to a considerable amount. These recycling centers usually have little concern over where the plastic is coming from, and the retailer often has no way of tracking the pallets, so the crime goes unpunished and the cycle continues.
Because those retailers and the shipping companies that supply them could otherwise reuse all of those pallets or, at the very least, sell them to recycling plants themselves, the costs to the industry can be enormous. So what can be done to reduce pallet piracy?
How to Reduce Plastic Piracy
First, it’s important to make clear to anyone who takes responsibility for the plastic pallets that these pallets have value. People are accustomed to tossing just about any kind of plastic into a recycling bin without any thought of financial compensation, so those managing your pallets may not realize that this is valuable property they are responsible for.
If you are shipping goods in reusable plastic pallets, you will want to send along instructions for how to care for those pallets and how to return them in a timely manner, and make sure whoever handles those pallets along the supply chain receives and understands those instructions.
If you are responsible for plastic pallets, do not leave them around where anyone could walk off with them, because someone probably will. Keep them indoors in a secure area if possible and if they must be kept in open docks or parking lots, find a lockable trailer to keep them in or put up secure fencing and/or install security cameras.
You can also make one of your employees a reusable asset project manager who can take control of tracking your plastic pallets and making sure the company is in contact with them at all times.
Get Your Plastic Pallets from Polymer Solutions International Inc.
If you aren’t using plastic pallets to store or ship your goods yet, there are many great benefits of doing so, including uniformity of dimensions, ease of cleaning and better hygiene. For more information about purchasing plastic pallets and protecting them from theft, contact Polymer Solutions International Inc. online or call us at 610-325-7500.