A Netherlands-based company may have found a solution to save approximately 15.3 million trees that are cut down for wood every year. This company is looking to substitute pallets made of fire-resistant coconut husks for wood. In addition to saving a great number of trees, this innovation will get farmers a bonus income, help fight climate change and reduce pollution.
Tree timber is commonly used as a raw material in the manufacturing industry. Though convenient, an enormous amount of trees that would otherwise be producing oxygen are sacrificed for this. Only a handful of alternatives for wood have been tested throughout history and none of them have proved sufficient success. Furthermore, people can’t seem to get away with the centuries-old technique of cutting down trees for manufacturing various goods. However, that is no more. CocoPallet, a startup in the Netherlands have a solution.
They create pallets by reshaping recycled fire-resistant coconut husks. The final product is absolutely more efficient in many ways compared to traditional tree wood. They are cheap, light, and durable. Unlike most other man-made materials, it contains neither artificial nor inorganic materials. The good news is, no more cutting down trees for making traditional pallets.
This brilliant technology was first developed by researchers at Wageningen University which was later shaped commercially by Michiel Vos, the founder of CocoPallet.
How Coconut Husks Entered The Picture
Jan Vam Dam, a scientist who specialized in plants at Wageningen University, has been trying to develop materials out of plant fiber for almost 20 years. It was after he came across an Indonesian that he understood the true power of coconut husks. The Indonesian showed Vam Dam a specimen of a product he made from leftover coconut husks. Vam Dam immediately saw the enormous potential that lies upon this man’s innovation.
He described what he was shown in an interview as a usual hardboard piece. The man had claimed that this piece of ordinary looking board was not made from an ordinarily logged tree but from coconut husks. Vam Dam was extremely amused by how a board similar to wood was made from the outer shell of the coconut fruit.
Vam Dom explained that this would be particularly pivotal for Asia where coconut waste is superabundant. The number of coconuts that are harvested every year results in a pile of the same number of coconut husks that’ll serve no other purpose than accumulation. Therefore, not only will it lessen deforestation; it’ll benefit farmers economically; reduce pollution, and even help stop climate change.
Vam Dam did his best to get the idea see the light of day in the Philippines. Due to unfortunate circumstances, his efforts to manufacture pallets from coconut husks was unsuccessful.
Opportunely, Michiel Vos of CocoPallet came to the rescue of the wood-alternative. He came to Vam Dam to inquire about this idea and he too was left stunned.
Pallets made from coconut husks was a kickstart especially in Asia. The materials needed are currently imported from other countries. If made in Asia, it would’ve even more efficient, and profitable.
Anyhow, the initiative is simply remarkable.