The Elements Of Locker Room Design

Material Handling Solutions For FDA-Regulated Industries

material handling solutions bannerPart I: An Overview of the Food & Drug Administration

What is the FDA?

FDA logoThe Food & Drug Administration (commonly known as the FDA) is an agency within the federal government.

This agency is in charge of overseeing the safety of medical devices, drugs, and the majority of food.

According to the FDA, it has five key responsibilities, which include:

  1. Protecting public health by regulating the foods which fall under its jurisdiction to ensure that they are “safe, wholesome, sanitary, and properly labeled” and ensuring that drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and other biological products are both effective and safe for human use.
  2. Keeping the public safe from radiation from electronic products
  3. Regulating all tobacco products
  4. Ensuring the safety and proper labeling of dietary supplements and cosmetics
  5. Assisting in speeding innovations in products in order to advance public health

What industries are regulated by the FDA?

Due to the wide scope of its regulatory authority, the FDA regulates eight main industries.

However, the FDA’s responsibilities are very similar to those of several other government agencies, which can often cause confusion among consumers.

Although this list is not inclusive, below are the eight industries most commonly regulated by the FDA.

Food

The FDA regulates approximately 80 percent of the food supply within the United States, with the exception being foods that are protected by the Department of Agriculture including poultry, certain egg products, and meat from livestock.

Some of the foods that fall under the FDA’s jurisdiction include bottled water, infant formulas, food additives, and dietary supplements.

Drugs

The drugs that are regulated by the FDA include both prescription and non-prescription drugs intended for human or veterinary use.

Medical Devices

Aside from food and drugs, the FDA also regulates medical devices including dental devices, prosthetics, surgical implants, technologies including pacemakers, and more simple products like bedpans and even tongue depressors.

Biologics

Biologics, medical treatments that are developed using blood or tissue, are another industry that the FDA oversees.

These products include insulin, vaccines, allergenics, immune therapies, and more.

Cosmetics

Some of the common products that fall into the category of cosmetics include perfume, skin moisturizers, skin cleansers, nail polish, and the color additives used in makeup.

Tobacco Products

The FDA has been involved in the regulation of some tobacco products since 2009.

These include not only cigarettes, but also smokeless tobacco, cigarette tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco.

Electronic Products

Industries producing electronics that emit radiation are controlled by the FDA.

This includes x-ray equipment, sunlamps, microwaves, lasers, mercury vapor lamps, and ultrasound machinery.

Veterinary Products

Finally, the FDA also has regulatory authority over certain veterinary products including pet food, drugs, and devices for use in the veterinary industry, and feed for livestock.

Inside the FDA’s regulations of the food and drug industries

Of these eight industries overseen by the FDA, the food and drug industries are probably the two which consumers encounter on a daily basis.

But what, exactly, does the FDA do to regulate within these industries?

And what specific rules and regulations are the most important to the agency?

How the FDA ensures safety within the food industry

When it comes to food, there is a wide range of areas regulated by the FDA.

Some of these key focus areas include:

  • Overseeing the registration of food facilities
  • Enforcing the current good manufacturing practices
  • Inspecting imports and exports
  • Regulating retail and food service industries
  • Protecting the nation’s food supply
  • Analyzing and controlling hazards (including those that are chemical, biological, and physical)
  • Administering the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

How the FDA regulates the pharmaceutical industry

The FDA oversees several aspects of the pharmaceutical/drug industry with some of the agency’s regulatory responsibilities including:

  • Overseeing the drug registration and listing system
  • Providing surveillance of the pharmaceutical industry
  • Ensuring all imports and exports comply with FDA guidelines
  • Regulating the drug supply chain integrity

Whether it involves registering food facilities or pharmaceutical companies, regulating food service and drug production industries, or enforcing proper manufacturing practices, a big part of what the FDA does, ensures that food and drug industry professionals are adhering to guidelines that ensure public safety.

Oftentimes this comes down to more than just common sense safety guidelines, like hand washing, sanitation, or refrigeration.

Instead, it deals with every aspect of the food production process, with material handling equipment being a key part of ensuring a safe finished product.

This means that in addition to regulating products (e.g. food, drugs, etc.), the agency also considers the environment in which the product was manufactured to ensure that good manufacturing practices were followed throughout every step of the process.

Part II: What you need to know about material handling solutions and food contact substances

When it comes to the design and construction of the equipment, utensils, and linens used in food processing and drug manufacturing facilities, the FDA has very clear guidelines in place surrounding five key areas:

  1. Durability & Strength
  2. Cleanability
  3. Accuracy
  4. Functionality
  5. Acceptability

When choosing the material handling solutions and food contact substances for a facility, it is of the utmost importance to consider these five regulation areas, to ensure your facility is fully in compliance with the law.

What are material handling solutions made of?

Traditionally the material handling solutions used in the food and pharmaceutical industries have been made of metal, wood, cardboard, and, more recently, plastic.

This equipment can be anything used to handle any part of the food or drug being manufactured, such as bulk containers used for transporting the product.

It might not seem like materials used to construct the equipment that the food or drugs come in contact with during the manufacturing practice matter.

However, in reality, the integrity of the carts, pallets, bins, and other equipment used in the production of food and drugs for human consumption play an important role guaranteeing a safe and effective final product.

For instance, if a wooden pallet shatters during the food or drug manufacturing process, small splinters can easily make their way into the finished product, posing a risk to consumers across the nation.

Or, if a metal cart that is used during production begins to rust from being kept in a damp manufacturing environment, that rust has the potential to compromise the integrity of the facility producing food and/or drugs for public consumption.

Because of this, the FDA closely regulates the material handling solutions used by both food and drug manufacturers.

Fortunately, in recent years, many innovations have been made when it comes to material handling solutions such as carts, bins, and pallets — making the food and drug industries safer than ever.

When it comes to the material handling equipment used in food and drug manufacturing, there are five main options, each of which has pros and cons for meeting the rules and regulations laid out by the FDA.

These are illustrated in the below table.

 ProsCons
Wood- Affordable
- Able to handle heavy loads
- Easy to repair
- Reusable
- Fire hazard
- Splintering can damage and/or contaminate product
- Sanitation issues due to rot, mold, bacteria, and fungus
- E.Coli and listeria risks
Metal- Durable
- Versatile
- Reusable
- Easy to sanitize and clean
- Fireproof
- Doesn’t attract pests
- Prone to rust and corrosion
- Heavy
- More expensive than other options
Plastic- Easy to clean and sanitize
- Lightweight
- Eco-friendly
- Durable
- Reusable
- Hardware free
- Doesn’t attract pests
- Difficult to repair
- More cost up front than wood or cardboard options
Cardboard- Lightweight
- Recyclable
- Affordable
- Cannot be sanitized or cleaned
- Lacks structural integrity

What are food contact substances?

Material handling solutions such as utility carts, shipping containers, and pallets oftentimes fall into what the FDA refers to as food contact substances (FCS).

These food contact substances are defined by the agency as “any substance that is intended for use as a component of materials used in manufacturing, packing, packaging, transporting, or holding food if such use of the substance is not intended to have any technical effect in such food.”

If your equipment will be in contact with food, it is key to ensure that it meets the FDA’s FCS guidelines.

FDA material use limitations

The FDA also has strict material use limitations in place for food contact surfaces used in the manufacturing and food handling process.

Although these materials may be fine for certain aspects of food manufacturing and processing, it is important to familiarize yourself with the specific restrictions surrounding these materials, including:

  • Cast iron
  • Lead
  • Copper
  • Galvanized metal
  • Sponges
  • Wood
  • Non-stick coatings

Part III: How to choose the best material handling solution for your industry based on FDA rules and regulations

As you can see, material handling solutions such as bulk containers, shipping containers, pallets, and bins can be manufactured from a variety of materials — all of which have different benefits and drawbacks.

To better understand which materials are best when it comes to complying with FDA rules and regulations, it is important to look at how these different types of equipment are used in the food manufacturing process, and what the FDA regulates within each of these phases.

Manufacturing of food and drugs

manufacturing plantThe Current Good Manufacturing Practices (also known as CGMPs) laid out by the FDA have a lot to say about the equipment used during the manufacturing of food and drugs.

According to the CGMPs, when it comes to the equipment used in food and drug production, the FDA is most concerned with:

  • Enforcing “expectations for the design, construction, and maintenance of equipment and utensils so as to ensure sanitary conditions.”
  • Regulating sanitation and cleaning of equipment and utensils to prevent contamination
  • Addressing pest control in manufacturing facilities

As far as the cleanability and sanitation of food contact surfaces go, these surfaces are required to meet five main criteria including being:

  1. Smooth
  2. Free of any cracks, breaks, open seams, inclusions, pits, and other similar imperfections
  3. Free of sharp corners, crevices, and internal angles
  4. Finished in a way that includes smooth joints and welding
  5. Accessible for inspection and cleaning either without being disassembled or by being easily disassembled.

Takeaway: When choosing material handling solutions for food and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities it is of the utmost importance to choose well-designed equipment that can be easily cleaned and sanitized that also minimizes the risk of pest control issues.

Storage of food and drugs

food storage facilityThe FDA also regulates the storage of food and drugs in the manufacturing process making it critical that bulk containers and pallets used to store materials intended for human consumption comply with the agency’s guidelines.

According to the CGMPs, when it comes to the equipment used to store food and drugs meant for human consumption, the FDA is most concerned with:

  • Ensuring that finished food products are “stored and distributed under conditions that protect against physical, chemical, and microbial contamination.”
  • Guaranteeing that storage containers (as well as the product stored in them are “protected from deterioration.”

Takeaway: It is key to ensure that pallets and bulk containers used for storage protect the finished product from contamination and deterioration.

Transportation of food and drugs

food transportation facilityThe FDA’s regulation of food and drug safety doesn’t end once a product leaves its production facility.

Instead, the FDA has thorough guidelines surrounding “problem areas where food may be at risk for physical, chemical, or biological contamination during food transport.”

As you can probably imagine, many of these regulations have to do with the shipping containers, pallets, and other equipment used during transit.

Some of the key areas regulated by the FDA during food and drug transport include:

  • Ensuring proper packaging materials are used to transport food and drugs
  • Evaluating the quality of pallets used during transit
  • Regulating the sanitation of loading equipment
  • Limiting the risk of cross-contamination
  • Enforcing pest control in storage and shipping areas

Takeaway: It is important to rely on quality pallets and bulk shipping containers that ensure sanitation and minimize the risk of contamination or pest control issues.

Storage of personal items

plastic lockersIn addition to the materials used in the manufacturing, storage, and transportation of food, the FDA also regulates dressing areas and locker rooms used by employees.

According to the 2017 FDA Food Code personal items such as street clothing, purses, and bags can contaminate food, food-contact surfaces, and food handling equipment.

Due to the hazard posed by personal items, the Code dictates that “Proper storage facilities are required for articles such as purses, coats, shoes, and personal medications.”

The lockers used to store these items can easily become contaminated if they are not regularly cleaned and sanitized.

This makes it essential to choose a durable material, such as plastic lockers, that will not rust or corrode over time, posing sanitation risks to food and drug manufacturing facilities.

Conclusion

When people think of the FDA, material handling solutions are seldom the first thing to come to mind.

However, as you can see, the material handling solutions and food contact substances used in food and drug manufacturing facilities are key to ensuring a safe finished product for human consumption.

Because of this, it is essential to become familiar with the specific rules and guidelines laid out by the FDA and to invest in high-quality materials that will ensure the integrity of your product.

Commercial Recycling Carts: Everything You Need To Know

Whether you work in an office, hospital, school, or waste management facility, durable and functional bulk recycling carts are a long-lasting solution for all of your company’s recycling and sorting needs.

However, when it comes to making a smart investment in a recycling bin for your industry, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the wide variety of options available for purchase.

So how can you find the perfect recycling cart for your company?

recycling carts: everything you need to know

Four key features to look for when purchasing a recycling cart for your business

With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to narrow down your top contenders when shopping for a recycling cart.

By knowing what to look for in a recycling cart, you can make your search much easier.

four key features of recycling carts

In our experience in the bulk material handling industry, these are the four most important features to be sure are included on any recycling cart you are considering for your business.

1. Durable Design

When researching the perfect recycling cart for your business needs, a long-lasting design should be at the very top of your list.

Not sure how to know if the design is durable? We have you covered.

Recycling cart durability all comes down to the manufacturing process used to create the finished product.

You want to find a manufacturer whose design incorporates a one-piece, single-wall design crafted from low-density polyethylene resin.

The result is a dent, stain, and rust resistant final product!

Other standard features which ensure the durability include

  •         Reinforced rim and rounded corners
  •         Smooth flat bottom with the support of a plywood base
  •         Forklift-deflective design that protects from wear and tear

You should also look for a manufacturer that offers a warranty, as this shows the faith that they have in the quality of their product.

2. Functional Design

Functionality is another critical element to look for as you shop for a recycling cart.

This is because a functional design is the key to improved productivity and efficiency — which is most likely one of the top reasons you need a recycling cart in the first place.

Some ergonomic design features to keep an eye out for include:

  •         Casters which swivel for easy maneuvering
  •         Rigid casters that allow constant tipping for users to easily roll the carts over any surface.
  •         A convenient nesting design with tiered walls that makes these carts easily stackable to conserve space.

Ideally, the recycling bin you choose will make your business MORE efficient.

If you are unsure if the model you are looking at can do this, it is a sign that it is probably not the right fit for your needs.

Remember, you want to invest in a cart that will work for you — not against you!

3. Customizable Design

Another feature to consider when purchasing a recycling cart is customizability, which will ensure your cart meets the specific needs of your company.

Depending on the type of work you do, some key customization options you may want to consider include:

  •         Locking security lids for the protection of sensitive documents and files
  •         Forklift pocket channels for convenient disposal
  •         Four or six wheel caster configuration for the best functionality possible in your work environment
  •         A lid that can be customized for your specific office needs, with options including a slot for paper and a hinge in case you need to remove documents from the bin

You may also want to consider choosing a manufacturer that offers aesthetic customizations, allowing your business to make your recycling carts your own!

Common modifications falling into this category include a variety of standard color options, custom color offerings, company logo stenciling, and mold-on and mold-in graphics.

This can be a great way to improve your branding.

4. Secure Design

One of the top concerns for businesses in the legal, insurance, and healthcare fields is confidentiality.

If security is a critical aspect of your industry, we suggest looking for a recycling bin that includes a locking security lid that will protect sensitive documents and computer hard drives, ensuring you are complying with current document destruction guidelines and privacy laws.

Choosing the right material for your recycling cart

choosing the right recycling cart plastic

So you’ve decided on the perfect recycling cart for your business.

Now it is time for the fun stuff — choosing your material.

The two types of plastic typically used to manufacture recycling carts are virgin plastic and 100% recycled material.

So, what’s the difference?

Regrind only has 40%-60% of the physical properties of the virgin material.

Many people believe that recycling carts manufactured from virgin plastic will be more durable than regrind carts, made from recycled materials.

However, these carts still perform just well in even the harshest conditions.

Even better, recycling carts manufactured from recycled regrind plastic have two additional benefits:

  1.    Recycling carts manufactured from recycled regrind plastic are better for the environment
  2.    Recycling carts made from this recycled material have a significantly lower price tag than carts manufactured from virgin-grade plastic

What is recycled regrind plastic?

plastic recyclingRegrind plastic is made when the virgin scrap from molded product is ground up, pulverized and reused.

Not only is this a responsible way to divert scrap from landfills, but it also provides a steady source of economical material for molding non-compliance products.

Still not sure if you are sold on recycled plastics?

Maybe this will help.

Many top brands and corporations are jumping on the recycled materials bandwagon.

For example, Proctor and Gamble has committed to using more recycled plastics in their packaging and Adidas has promised to only use recycled plastic in their manufacturing by 2024!

We think that recycled plastics are the way of the future and encourage you to jump on the bandwagon.

You’ll be in good company. We promise.

Plastic Pallets Vs The Competitors: Who “Stacks” Highest?

Pallets play a critical role in material handling, shipping, and storage aspects of businesses across the globe.

In fact, according to The Balance, the evolution of pallets “has been integral to the development of modern logistics,” changing supply chains and influencing the way that we do business.

A pallet may sound like a simple thing, but in reality, pallets can make or break your business.

This is why it is important to choose a durable and cost-effective pallet that will make your workplace more efficient and profitable.

In this article, we discuss all things pallets, including the ins and outs of wood, metal and cardboard pallets and why plastic pallets may be the best choice for your business.

pallet comparison guide

Plastic pallets are the way of the future

If you are looking for an innovative and cost-effective alternative to traditional wooden, metal, and cardboard pallets, plastic pallets may be the perfect solution to your material handling needs.

Benefits of plastic pallets

Durable

cross-ribbed plastic pallet designUnlike other types of pallets, quality plastic pallets are crafted with an innovative cross-ribbed design that evenly distributes weight for durability and strength.

Thanks to this sturdy design without seams or weak points, the strongest plastic pallets on the market can hold up to 3,500 pounds without breaking.

Safe alternative to wood

When wood pallets break (and they often do!), the resulting splintered wood and nails often contaminate both the work environment and the product.

Hazardous materials that create slip and trip risks in your workspace are a liability that can easily be avoided by switching to durable plastic alternatives.

Reusable

While wooden and cardboard pallets are often “one-and-done” in functionality, cross-ribbed plastic pallets can be used repeatedly without wear and tear.

The multi-use functionality of plastic pallets ensures that you and your business get your money’s worth instead of running out to purchase new pallets on a weekly or monthly basis.

Lightweight

Despite their strong design, plastic pallets are also relatively light, typically weighing 30 percent less than their wood counterparts.

In fact, the heaviest models on the market (that hold up to 3,500 pounds) only weigh 55 pounds.

This results in cheaper shipping costs and easier maneuverability.

Ergonomic design

ergonomic plastic pallet with lip for stackingThe innovative design of quality plastic pallets also incorporates angled, rounded legs which guide the fork tines into place when being used by a forklift.

This unique design reduces damage issues that are common with wooden and cardboard pallets by allowing the fork tines to deflect off the leg instead of breaking or cutting into the pallet.

Plastic pallets can also include rounded, reinforced corners and 4-way entry for handling ease.

Although they are non-rackable, plastic pallets often come with an optional stacking lip feature on the long side.

This makes them easy to stack and transport, while also preventing product slippage when they are in use.

Easy to clean

Unlike wooden and cardboard pallets, which are difficult to clean and cannot be exposed to moisture and chemicals, plastic pallets are extremely easy to clean and sanitize using a variety of techniques including steam cleaning, hot washing, and chemical sanitizing.

Plastic pallets are also designed with a smooth, flat top that aids in the cleaning process — a critical feature when working in a warehouse environment.

Environment & Budget Friendly

Due to their durable, reusable nature, plastic pallets are also an environmentally friendly option that will save money for your business in the long run.

Thanks to the cutting-edge engineering of plastic pallets, they can last for hundreds of uses, making them a cost-effective investment that pays off over time.

Plastic pallets that are crafted from 100% virgin grade plastic, are also recyclable, eliminating disposal fees and making them an environmentally-friendly choice.

Plastic Pallet FAQs

How much does a plastic pallet weigh?

One of the lightest weight pallet options on the market, plastic pallets typically weigh anywhere from 45 to 55 pounds.

This weight varies depending on both the dimensions and weight capacity of the pallet.

How much weight can a plastic pallet hold?

Every plastic pallet is manufactured with a specific weight capacity in mind.

Therefore, the specific weight that a plastic pallet can hold varies.

However, they typically can hold anywhere from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds, making them one of the strongest options available to businesses.

What is the average price of a plastic pallet?

Plastic pallet costs vary, depending on the quality of the pallet in question.

Cheaper, less durable models can start as low as $10.00.

However, when it comes to cost per use savings, it is much wiser to invest in durable plastic pallets, which can cost upwards of $150.00.

Although this may sound expensive, a quality plastic pallet is a strategic investment that will end up costing your business much less in the long run thanks to its long-lasting nature.

A Time & Place for Every Pallet

Through the years there has always been a time and place for every pallet.

From wood to metal to cardboard; each one has played its part in the necessary application.

In reviewing these different uses you will find what type of pallets work best for you.

Wood pallets

stacked wooden pallets

If you have worked with wood pallets, you are most likely familiar with their many pros and cons when it comes to material handling.

But, as a refresher as to what they are, or for those who do not know, we will cover them in this section.

The pros of wood pallets

Making up approximately 60 percent of all wooden containers that are produced within the United States, wooden pallets are extremely common in many industries.

This popularity is due to several key advantages of wood pallets, which include:

  • Affordability
  • Ease of manufacturing process
  • Having high friction compared to metal and plastic pallets
  • Repairability
  • Recyclable nature

The cons of wood pallets

Although they are commonly used in many industries, pallets crafted from wood have many drawbacks — especially in the food handling and pharmaceutical industries where safety is a critical part of daily operations.

Because of these many cons, alternative pallet materials such as plastic and metal are quickly increasing in popularity.

Some of the downsides of wooden pallets include:

Easily damaged

Wood pallets are not durable and tend to break and splinter easily when put under pressure.

This can lead to product contamination and hazardous working conditions that can quickly become a liability.

Not forklift compatible

Due to their lack of durability, wooden pallets do not work well in warehouse environments with forklifts, where they can be easily damaged.

Difficult to keep clean

Wooden pallets are also notoriously difficult to clean and are susceptible to fungus and bacteria growth when exposed to moisture.

Their porous makeup means they are prone to infestations from bugs and rodents, which can lead to the presence of dangerous bacterias like salmonella and E.coli.

This is especially an issue in facilities that handle food and medicine.

Wood Pallet FAQs

How heavy is a wooden pallet?

The weight of wooden pallets varies depending on their dimensions and capacity.

Typically wooden pallets can weigh as little as 30 pounds and up to 70 pounds depending on its intended applications.

How much weight can a wooden pallet hold?

The weight that a wood pallet can handle depends on the size and construction of the pallet.

This said, the weight load for most wooden pallets ranges between 3,700 and 4,700 pounds.

How much does a wooden pallet cost?

Standard pallets typically cost anywhere from $11.25 to $12.50.

However, high quality pallets typically cost around $30.00.

Meanwhile, cheaper recycled options can be purchased for anywhere from $4.25 to $7.40.

Metal pallets

steel pallet

For those who have previously worked with metal pallets, it is probably apparent that their main benefit is extreme strength and durability due to their construction from aluminum or steel.

This makes metal pallets ideal for use in applications that need a durable and protective pallet, such as the transport of military ammunition and other heavy machinery.

Due to their durable nature, metal pallets are also an excellent option for use in outdoor storage and at-sea storage.

However, strength is not the only benefit of metal pallets.

Some of the other benefits of metal pallets include that they are:

  • Easy to clean and sanitize
  • Do not attract dust and dirt
  • Do not attract pests
  • Recyclable and environmentally friendly
  • Fireproof

Because of their easy-to-clean quality as well as resistance to dirt, pests, and other potential contaminants, metal pallets are also very popular in the catering and restaurant industries.

When it comes to the disadvantages of metal pallets a few considerations to keep in mind include that they are:

  • More expensive than other options
  • Much heavier than pallets manufactured from plastic, wood, or cardboard
  • Prone to rust and corrosion

The weight of metal pallets manufactured from steel is probably the most important drawback to keep in mind when considering purchasing metal pallets as this can make them much more expensive to use for shipping purposes and much more difficult to maneuver in warehouse settings.

However, aluminum offers a lighter alternative if you are planning to stick with a metal pallet for shipping.

Metal Pallet FAQs

How heavy are metal pallets?

Of the four types of pallets discussed here, metal pallets are the heaviest option.

The weight of metal pallets can be quite different depending on the type of metal used to manufacture the pallet.

Aluminum pallets are the lightest metal pallets available at around 55 pounds, while stainless steel models are typically the heaviest at around 75 pounds.

How much weight can a metal pallet hold?

The specific weight load that metal pallets can handle depends on several factors including its construction and material.

However, metal pallets are typically favored for heavy loads and can handle thousands of pounds of static weight, with steel pallets holding up to 8,000 pounds and aluminum pallets holding as much as 30,000 pounds.

How much do metal pallets cost?

The price of metal pallets varies greatly depending on the material used.

Traditional steel pallets are typically quite a bit cheaper than those made of sturdier metals like aluminum or stainless steel.

These higher-end steel pallets typical cost upwards of $200.00, with aluminum pallets reaching prices up to $375.00 per piece.

The pros and cons of cardboard pallets

corrugated cardboard pallet

Although they may sound like an ineffective option, cardboard pallets are actually quite popular.

In fact, home manufacturing giant IKEA chooses cardboard as their pallet of choice in most instances.

Since they are not as common as wood or plastic pallets, you may not have worked with cardboard pallets in the past, so here is a rundown of both the pros and cons of cardboard pallets.

Some of the many benefits of cardboard pallets include that they are:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Do not contain nails, splinters and other potentially dangerous hardware
  • Recyclable
  • Easy to break down and dispose of
  • ISPM 15 compliant

The fact that cardboard pallets are ISPM 15 compliant is one of their main advantages, making them ideal for international shipping, unlike wood pallets, which can potentially transport insects and diseases across international borders.

As for the disadvantages, you probably guessed their main disadvantage, which is that they are not durable or long-lasting, limiting their use.

Other drawbacks of cardboard pallets include that they:

  • Are susceptible to moisture damage
  • Cannot be cleaned or sanitized
  • Are typically single use due to lack of durability
  • Cannot handle heavy loads

Cardboard Pallet FAQs

How much do cardboard pallets weigh?

One of the most lightweight pallet options available, cardboard pallets typically weigh around 19 pounds.

How much weight can cardboard pallets hold?

The weight that a cardboard pallet can handle depends on the type of pallet in question.

Depending on the engineering used to create the pallet, cardboard models can hold anywhere from 300 to 10,000 pounds!

How much to cardboard pallets cost?

Cardboard pallets are most likely the cheapest pallet option on the market, starting at around $7.00.

However, it is important to keep in mind that they are usually single use, which means you will end up spending much more on pallets over the long term if you use them frequently in your business operations.

The benefits of plastic pallets for quality control

If you are in food processing, pharmaceuticals, or another industry with strict quality control standards, you know how difficult it can be to find material handling products that comply with USDA and FDA regulations.

This is especially true when it comes to wooden pallets that are manufactured with nails and other metal hardware that can easily compromise your safety standards and pose the risk of contaminating your products.

In this section, we discuss why plastic pallets with no hardware are ideal for use in industries where quality control is central to your daily operations.

Manufactured from USDA + FDA approved materials

One of the main benefits of plastic pallets for use in pharmaceuticals, food processing, and similar industries is that they can be manufactured using USDA and FDA-approved polyethylene.

This 100% virgin-grade plastic means your business can enjoy the many benefits of plastic pallets, without compromising on quality control regulations.

Pallets with No Hardware = No Risky Metal Parts

The seamless one-piece design of plastic pallets eliminates the need for the metal hardware found on wooden pallets, making plastic pallets an excellent choice for companies that plan to use them as a part of their food or drug manufacturing process.

By eliminating the use of metal, your company will have one less thing to worry about when it comes to adhering to strict government regulations.

Durable construction reduces the risk of contamination from damage

As discussed, plastic pallets are also extremely durable, unlike wood pallets which easily splinter and crack.

This durability is critical for ensuring quality control and safety, as it greatly reduces the risk of your product (or workspace) being contaminated with splinters from wood pallets.

Plastic pallets eliminate the risk of bacteria and fungus

Since wood is highly susceptible to fungus and bacteria growth, plastic pallets are a much better option for food processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Simply switching to plastic will greatly reduce your risk of contamination of your product in the workplace.

If you are in a material handling industry, making the switch to plastic pallets is a quick and easy way to improve your business operations.

This simple upgrade may seem like a small step, but it can impact everything from your budget to workplace efficiency, to reduced risk of liability — ultimately improving your bottom line.

While there are outliers (such as those that need to carry a heavier load), plastic pallets are the perfect choice for the average operation.

They are more expensive upfront than wood and cardboard, but come with many more benefits, including high durability.

Plastic pallets are able to be used hundreds, if not thousands of times, making them the more cost-effective option over time.

Looking for more information on plastic pallets? Contact one of Fibertech’s representatives today!

Custom Rotational Molding: The Definitive Guide

Benefits of Fibertech’s 2 Series Combo Bins

combo binsWhen it comes to customers in the food processing and pharmaceutical industries, one of the most common requests we hear is for a multi-purpose combo bin that can be used in a variety of applications to replace cardboard and wood stainless steel containers. If this request sounds all too familiar, you are in luck, because our 2 Series combo bins, crafted from durable rotationally molded plastic, are a long-lasting, cost-saving solution with a wide range of uses across industries.

Solid construction

One of the best things about our 2 Series bulk containers is that they feature a durable one-piece design that has no weak points or seams. Guaranteed to last your company for years to come, our combo bins feature reinforced corners as well as a reinforced rim, since this is the area that bears the brunt of the force when being used. Even better, our 2 series combo bins are also manufactured from 100% virgin materials with no metal hardware, making them both FDA and USDA compliant — an essential feature for those working in food processing and pharmaceutical settings.

The innovative design of our combo bins also incorporates convenient two-way entry points for forklifts and a one-of-a-kind angled leg design that reduces the risk of damage to our reusable shipping containers in warehouse environments.

combo binsAvailable in a variety of sizes + options

As always, we want our material handling containers to work for your exact industry needs. This is why our 2 Series combo bins are available for purchase in four convenient sizes with a range of additional customization options. Some of these optional modifications include:

  • Drain Holes/Drain Plugs
  • Divider Plates
  • Stacking Lids
  • Dust Cover Lids
  • Stenciling
  • Mold-in/Mold-on Graphics
  • Custom Colors

Other key design features

In addition to a durable design with customizable features, our 2 series combo bins also include a channel bottom and rounded interior corners, making them an easy-to-clean material handling option for companies in food handling, pharmaceuticals, or any industry where cleanliness is of the utmost importance. Even better, they are also rust-resistant since they are constructed entirely of plastic! Our 2 series bulk containers additionally feature a stacking/nestable design, which is popular with many clients because it saves space in tight shipping and warehouse settings.

Ready to see how our combo bins can improve your business?

If you have been searching for a durable, cost-effective alternative to cardboard containers, our reusable and versatile combo bins may be exactly what you need to take your business to the next level. The durable construction, versatility, and customizability of our 2 series combo bins make them an effective replacement for cardboard containers for customers in a wide array of industries. If you want to save time and money by investing in our highly efficient material handling and shipping containers, contact our team today to see how our 2 series containers can make your business the best in your industry!