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In an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of the timber industry, the National Timber Product Stewardship Group (NTPSG) has launched a new brochure on recycling wood packaging such as pallets and crates.
The NTPSG, a timber industry initiative, has targeted wood packaging as ‘the low hanging fruit’ to help meet its overall target of doubling the recovery of all waste wood to one million tonnes per year by 2017.
According to the NTPSG, around 300,000 tonnes of waste wood packaging is disposed to landfills each year around Australia.
“This brochure helps businesses that generate a lot of waste wood packaging play their part in the product stewardship of wood products across the supply chain – even at end-of-life,” said Stephen Mitchell, the NTPSG’s project manager.
The group said while a significant quantity of wood pallets can be repaired and reused, it is generally unable to recycle single-trip wood pallets and crates.
“The good news is that these pallets and crates are increasingly recycled into products such as new particleboard, mulch, animal bedding or even low carbon polluting renewable energy,” it said.
The brochure contains information on imported wood packaging and methods used to minimise the spread of pests and diseases into and around Australia. For example, methods such as heat sterilisation and fumigants are not barriers to wood recycling or use in the generation of renewable energy.
The group’s environmental initiative also includes its new website, which provides a directory with over 120 businesses across Australia that reuse, recycle or use waste wood packaging to generate renewable energy.
The brochure has been developed with funding support from Western Australia’s Strategic Waste Initiatives Scheme, the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Queensland Department of Tourism, Regional Development and Industry.
The free brochure and other resources can be accessed via the NTPSG website at www.timberstewardship.org.au.