Project Description

YELLOW PALLET

PALLETS WITH BLOCKS MADE OF PRESSED BANANA FIBRE

The past year saw the completion of a remarkable initiative in Costa Rica: the construction of a pilot plant for pallets with blocks made of pressed banana fibre: Yellow Pallet (http://yellow-pallet.com). As it happened, last September the annual seminar of AgroFair’s technical team took place not far away from Siquirres in Costa Rica where the factory is located. So we went there to have a look.

BANANA FIBRE BLOCKS GIVE THE PALLETS GREATER STRENGTH AND ARE LESS LIKELY TO COME LOOSE

YELLOW PALLET

BANANA BLOCKS

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FIBRES

FRUIT AS A BUILDING BLOCK

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Adjacent to the factory is a plantation of the Balbisiana banana variety, sporting a very dense crop of banana plants, up to 10 thousand plants per hectare. This variety has a particularly robust plant, resistant to many banana diseases and pests. Instead of the fruit, from this banana plant it is the stem that is harvested, before the banana bunch develops. These stems are then processed into fibres in the factory. Add to the fibres a mixture of various synthetic resins and glue, press under high temperature and presto! A proper beam appears.

When sawn into blocks, these are strong enough for the construction of pallets. This puts a whole new perspective on fruit as a building block! At the moment, about 30 percent of the Yellow Pallet is made of banana fibre. The planks are presently still made of wood, but in the future it will be possible to produce them from banana fibre as well. The power of fruit never ceases to amaze us.

GREATER STRENGTH

Test results so far are great: compared to traditional wooden blocks, banana fibre blocks give the pallets greater strength and are less likely to come loose (you may appreciate the hair-raising trials we performed with a forklift in our warehouse!). The yield is terrific: a Balbisiana banana plantation can provide 4 to 6 times the weight of material per hectare that a production forest of Melina or Pine wood can.

This saves serious amounts of land and water; leaving wood from production forests available for use in other, more sustainable purposes than pallets. Compared to all-wood pallets, yellow pallets show a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions.

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These promising pallets are but a hair’s width away from flawlessness, there are still some minor problems to be solved to perfect the pallet. In the coming year Yellow Pallet will attempt to expand her Balbisiana producer base and the factory will be expanded considerably.

FIRST COMPANY IN EUROPE

IMPORT BANANAS STOWED ON YELLOW PALLETS

AgroFair was proud as a peacock to be the first company in Europe to import bananas stowed on Yellow Pallets. The first of our AgroFair producers who beat the competition and started to buy Yellow Pallets on a regular basis is VARCLI Pinares in Costa Rica. Hopefully, after expansion of the plant, Yellow Pallets will become both available and affordable so there is nothing to stop our producers in neighboring Panama and Nicaragua to go bananas as well!

AgroFair was proud as a peacock to be the first company in Europe to import bananas stowed on Yellow Pallets. The first of our AgroFair producers who beat the competition and started to buy Yellow Pallets on a regular basis is VARCLI Pinares in Costa Rica. Hopefully, after expansion of the plant, Yellow Pallets will become both available and affordable so there is nothing to stop our producers in neighboring Panama and Nicaragua to go bananas as well!

COMPARED TO ALL-WOOD PALLETS, YELLOW PALLETS SHOW A 30% REDUCTION IN CO2 EMISSIONS.