A packaging expert, Ravi Kanwal, has called on National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to enforce the use of plastic pallets in packaging food and pharmaceutical products.
Addressing a news conference in Lagos on Sunday, Kanwal said that plastic pallets were hygienic, termite and bacteria-free and washable for industrial use. “Presently what is used in food and pharmaceutical industries are wooden pallets. “Plastic pallets are more cost effective than wooden ones because they can be used for three to five years before expiring.
“The most important factor for their use is that they reduce cutting of trees, thus saving the environment from deforestation. According to the packaging expert, around one billion trees are cut in the world per year to make wooden pallets which has negative impact on the environment. Kanwal, who is Chief Executive of Songhai Packaging Industry Ltd, noted that broken plastic pallets could be recycled and used to produce other plastic pallets, thereby converting waste to useful products.
Kanwal said that the company was introducing into Nigeria injection molded plastic pallets which was produced through robotic technology. He said that the pallets were produced in Nigeria from recycled plastics wastes in the last five years.
“We have been producing in Nigeria from material sourced within the country and exporting to Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea and other countries. “Wooden pallets have a lifespan of three to six months and cost N3,500 per pallet, while plastic pallets last for three to five years and cost N17,000 per pallet.
“Food should be stored in plastic pallets to be preserved and free from infection,’’ he said. He stressed that plastic pallets were strong, did not get soggy when kept in frozen or watery areas and could be used when there was not enough space available. “We implore everyone to key into the use of plastic pallets because saving our environment and the economy are both same sides of the same coin,’’ he said.