E3S Web Conf.
Volume 158, 20202019 7th International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention (ICEPP 2019)
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Low Carbon and Emission Reduction|
|Published online||23 March 2020|
Carbon footprint of an EUR-sized wooden and a plastic pallet
Department of Sustainability Science, School of Energy Systems, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, 53850, Lappeenranta, Finland
∗ Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pallets are an essential element of existing logistics worldwide. Pallets are simple in structure, yet they can be made of different materials, in varying dimensions, and be marketed via alternative management systems. This paper examines a carbon footprint, an indicator of impact on climate change, of a widely used EUR-size (1200 mm × 800 mm) pallet made of wood or plastic using the data from previously published literature. The study is geographically representative of Finland, while time and technological representativeness depend on the studies reviewed. On average, the production of a wooden pallet, i.e. cradle-to-gate, has a partial carbon footprint of 5.0 kg CO2-eq. and of -34 kg CO2-eq. if accounting for carbon sequestration in wood. Manufacturing of a virgin plastic pallet releases 62 kg CO2-eq. Given the functional unit of 1000 customer trips and service life of 20 times for a wooden pallet and 66 times for a plastic pallet, the cradle-to-grave impacts of the wooden and the plastic pallets are 17 kg CO2-eq. and 1790 kg CO2-eq., respectively when the pallets are incinerated at the end-of-life, or 0.34 kg CO2-eq. per one wooden pallet and 120 kg CO2-eq. per one plastic pallet.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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