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Construction’s pallet recycling scheme set for relaunch

23 Feb The Pallet Loop initiative is under new ownership, has a new operating model and is planning a new lease of life.

The Pallet Loop keeps its green pallets in circulation instead of binning them after a single use
The Pallet Loop keeps its green pallets in circulation instead of binning them after a single use

Pallet Loop, a private company that operates a pallet reuse scheme for the construction industry, is now wholly owned by BSW Group, part of Austria鈥檚 Binderholz group.

Pallet Loop began in 2019 as a joint venture between Paul and Ryan Lewis and pallet producer Scott Group. The Lewis brothers used to own HLC Wood Products, which they sold to Scott in 2015.

BSW, a Scottish timber company, acquired Scott Group in December 2022. For the first year Pallet Loop remained a joint venture between the Lewis brothers and BSW, but now BSW has taken full ownership.

Paul Lewis remains at the helm of Pallet Loop as founder and managing director.

In its first wave Pallet Loop attracted the support of man y companies across the UK construction industry keen to flag up their green credentials.

Bam Construction, Morgan Sindall and Willmott Dixon, Sisk, Countryside, drylining specialists BDL/Careys and Platt & Reilly, builders鈥 merchants MKM, Bradfords and Wolseley and materials producers Marshalls and Tobermore were among companies signing up for reusable pallets to reduce waste.

However, despite early support there are still no Pallet Loop pallets are in circulation yet.

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The initial operating model was that distinctively branded green pallets would be distributed to manufacturers, who transport products on them to construction sites after paying a deposit per pallet. As pallets move through the supply chain, the deposit passes from manufacturer to merchant to end user. After being stacked and stored, The Pallet Loop collects them (reducing site clutter) and returns deposits. It then repairs them as necessary and recirculates them.

However, while everyone was keen to be seen reducing waste, it transpired that there was a reluctance within the industry to pay a deposit.

Or as Pallet Loop puts it: 鈥淭he financial macro environment has changed. After listening to feedback and concerns that our original deposit-based scheme could negatively impact cash flow, we have remodelled the transactional element of the Pallet Loop.鈥

Now, there is no deposit to pay. Instead registered return partners will simply receive 拢4 per pallet for every one returned.

To help with the relaunch of the scheme under the new operating model, Andy Williamson, former commercial director of SIG, has joined the company as director of business development after six months as a non-executive director.

Managing director Paul Lewis said: 鈥淚t鈥檚 an incredibly exciting time at The Pallet Loop. We are on the cusp of delivering a widespread shift in how building materials are moved around the UK. With a range of green pallets that are engineered to be used again and again, and a nationwide pallet collection service, The Pallet Loop is designed to have a positive financial and environmental impact.鈥疻e are grateful that BSW have recognised the inherent value in our model and delighted to be part of a fully integrated supply chain that is committed to unlocking the full potential of timber, sustaining long-term growth for the construction industry and building a more sustainable world. I鈥檇 also like to thank Andy for his support and advocacy of our work. It鈥檚 great to have him on board to help amplify our voice and progress conversations with key players throughout the construction sector about our circular economy scheme.鈥

BSW Group commercial director Mike Faulkner said: 鈥淲e鈥檙e delighted to welcome Loop as a member of BSW and Binderholz. A staggering 20 million pallets are manufactured for the UK construction industry every year, but less than 10% of these are currently reused. As a major supplier into this sector, we want to do what we can to change this. Our values at BSW are aligned with those of Loop, and we鈥檙e incredibly excited to drive positive change by incentivising customers to reduce waste and reuse pallets. We鈥檝e already been impressed by the growth and commitment of the business and are keen to build on the great work that Paul and his team have started. Loop perfectly slots into BSW鈥檚 circular business model and we can鈥檛 wait to get going.鈥

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