From: Paul Geary, ENN
Published August 30, 2005 12:00 AM

EarthNews Radio: Paper or Plastic?

To move products from one place to another, we use pallets. There are more than a billion pallets in service at a given time, and we'll need many more. Which pallets are better for the environment? This may be one example of where plastic is actually preferable.

Jerry Kay spoke to Daniel Imhoff, one of the authors of Paper or Plastic, Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World:

Paper or Plastic

Imhoff says that a significant percentage of our wood harvested goes to making pallets. Often, wood pallets are only used once because they're susceptible to breakage and invasive insect species. Plastic pallets, which can also contain other materials, can be steam washed and used up to 70 times.

He stresses that plastic isn't always the best choice, but it should be looked into on a case-by-case basis.

You can learn more about Paper or Plastic by Daniel Imhoff and Roberto Carra, published by the University of California Press, on the press's website.

Be sure to visit EarthNews Radio's home here at ENN on a regular basis. Jerry Kay interviews compelling environmentalists, scientists, and activists in 90 blasts of information that are sure to make you think. You can find it at

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