Pallets made of waste coconut husks
Amsterdam-based start-up CocoPallet developed a nestable pallet made of coconut husks, generally considered waste, that save up to 70% in shipping and storing space.
Coconut trees can grow in almost any kind of soil, even salty ones, which is why they often grow in costal areas. In the areas coconut trees frequent, they are often also part of daily life, providing drink, food and fuel. However, the husks are often discarded and left to rot or burnt, which emits a lot of CO2 emissions. At the same time, in the Asian market alone more than 1.7 million wooden pallets are used for export, which cost millions of trees to make and have a huge environmental footprint.
The idea for the pallets comes from a report of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, which found that coconut husks can be pressed into any shape, without the need to add any glue, additives or nails. This is because the husks contain a natural type of glue.
Designed especially for the Asian market, each pallet consists of about 60 to 70 coconut husks, but coconuts are abundantly available, so there is no shortage. Rather than be rackable, the CocoPallets have a nestable design, which saves up to 70% space in a traditional 40-foot container.
The pallets can handle a 4000 kg static load and 1000 kg dynamic load. They come in standard 1200 x 1000 x 115mm size. The pallets are made from 100% coconut husks, and are therefore biodegradable.
The coconut pallets solve several problems at once. They reduce deforestation, reduce waste, reduce air pollution from the burning of the husks and provide the coconut farmers with extra income. In addition, the pallets can be used as soil-improver at end-of-life.