Why Plastic Pallets are Exempt from ISPM15 Regulations
ISPM stands for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No 15. ISPM15 was developed by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) which provides guidelines on how to treat wooden materials that a have thickness of more than 6mm.
Issues with Wood Pallets
Wooden pallets were used in the early days of freight and transportation business when plastic pallets were yet to be designed and manufactured. The problem with wooden pallets was that they caused a serious bio-hazard threat along with other problems such as:
v Bacterial infestation
v Chemical exposure, contamination and associated risks
v e-coil related issues for food and disposal problems
v Unlike plastic, wood is not resistance to fire
v No way to sanitize wood
v Not durable
v Extremely heavy resulting in more time taken in lifting and transportation
v ISPM required it to be fumigated and heat treated
v Cannot be recycled resulting in disposal related issues
v Not eco-friendly
ISPM15 tried to control these risks associated with the usage of wooden pallets, hence plastic pallet are exempt from ISPM15 regulations. ISPM15 has adopted plastic pallet which has resulted in their growth and acceptance in the US.
Light weighted and easy to carry and move around
Nestable and rackable plastic pallets save valuable floor space resulting in savings in dollars for freight charges
Resistance to fire
No need for fumigation and heat treatment
Easy to sanitize
Resistance to odor
Service life span is longer than that of wooden pallets
Plastic pallets are more durable
Better protection for the goods that are carried on them
Being light weight, it saves labor and transportation costs in addition to saving freight costs
No splintering issues
No infestation related issues
Plastic pallets are re-usable
Plastic pallets can be recycled which is more eco-friendly
RFID chips can be molded right into the plastic pallets to easily and better track the goods
Citing the benefits of the plastic pallets over the wooden ones, ISPM15 made them exempt from their regulations. The ISPM15 regulations are mandatory for exporters around the world. It was introduced to make sure that wood pests are controlled between the exporting and importing countries. Plastic pallets solve many of the problems that wooden pallets used to pose.
Plastic pallets are easy to clean and maintain when compared to wood. Plastic pallets also provide better protection to the goods. If plastic is exposed to water, there is no issue because plastic is also water resistant, however if wood is exposed to water, then there are several consequences such as pests and rot.
Being exempt from ISPM15, more and more exporters are choosing plastic pallets over heat treated and fumigated wooden pallets. Plastic pallets are also extremely cheaper when compared to wood pallets. Plastic pallets carry with them reduced labor costs, no treatment is required to maintain them, and they are completely eco-friendly.
Due to all these reasons, plastic pallet has been accepted by ISPM15 and is completely satisfies the regulations. Apart from this, there are the added benefits in costs and space.