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    Ben Boughtwood

    Why Should You Use Heat Treated Pallets?

    Pallets are the backbone of any busy commercial environment, allowing you to easily display, store and, most importantly, transport a whole range of goods. Whilst most standard pallets can be used to transport goods domestically, regulations can get a little more complicated when crossing international borders. This is where heat treated pallets come in.

    But what are heat treated pallets? And why should you use them? The team at Rotomshop has compiled this comprehensive guide to ensure your next deliveries go ahead without a hitch.

    What are heat treated pallets?

    The name itself is pretty self-explanatory: heat treated pallets are pallets that have undergone a process known as heat treatment (HT). This involves treating the timber by heating it to a specific temperature for a certain period of time. The main aim of this is to sterilise the wood, remove pests and ensure the pallet meets strict ISPM standards.

    Why are pallets heat treated?

    Most of us will use wooden pallets without really thinking too much about where they come from. However, it’s important to remember that wood is an organic material and it doesn’t grow in a sterile environment. This means that sometimes wooden pallets may harbour pests, which should be destroyed to prevent your goods and pallets from becoming contaminated.

    It’s also a requirement that any pallet crossing international borders must be heat treated to ISPM 15 standards; this prevents harmful pests from spreading between countries and potentially harming ecosystems. ISPM stands for International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures and this represents the benchmark worldwide for wooden packaging materials. All pallets that have undergone this process must be stamped with an authentication mark. This is a globally recognised symbol that provides peace of mind that the pallet in question is free of pests.

    How does heat treatment work?

    Under ISPM 15 guidelines, all wooden pallets should be heated until a core temperature of 56°C is achieved. This must then be maintained for at least a further 30 minutes to ensure all pests have been thoroughly eradicated. Once this process is complete, the pallet will then be stamped with the ISPM 15 mark.

    Does the UK require heat treated pallets?

    Any solid wooden packaging materials used to import goods into the UK must be stamped with the ISPM 15 mark; otherwise, the packaging could be rejected or destroyed. If you’re using wooden pallets to export goods out of the UK, you’ll need to check the rules of the country in question. However, more often than not, pallets must comply with ISPM 15 guidelines and may even be subject to more stringent regulations depending on the country you’re trading with.

    What are the benefits of heat treated pallets? 

    • Longevity: By heat treating pallets, the wood becomes strengthened. This offers extra protection against mould, rot and other damage, meaning the pallets will likely have a much longer lifespan. Not only does this enhance durability, but it typically works out to be a much more cost-effective option.
    • Environmentally friendly: As heat treated pallets usually last much longer than their untreated counterparts, they require less frequent replacement; this helps to preserve raw materials. Furthermore, only heat is used to sterilise the pallets, with no other chemicals or hazardous substances needed. This means that at the end of its life cycle, the pallet can easily be recycled in a way that is safe for the environment.
    • Reduces contamination: Heat treating your pallets ensures they are safe against a number of pests, including larvae, termites and wood-boring beetles. This is especially important if you’re transporting goods that could be easily damaged by these contaminants, such as food and pharmaceuticals.
    • International transportation: Untreated wooden pallets may carry pests and diseases, which can spread during transit. This can be especially problematic if your goods are being transported internationally, as foreign pests can damage the local ecosystem when introduced to a new environment.

    If you’re looking for affordable heat treated pallets, get in touch with Rotomshop UK. Our Euro pallets are heat treated in our drying rooms according to all ISPM 15 guidelines to make exporting goods a breeze. We deliver pallets and a wide range of other products to businesses across the UK — simply contact us to discuss how we can help your operations. Alternatively, you can browse our website and place an online order with us today.

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