The National Association of Pallet Distributors (NAPD) has challenged press speculation that plastic pallets are set to replace timber.

The NAPD said recent rises in oil prices could only raise the price of raw materials used in the manufacture of plastic pallets.

It said: “The National Association of Pallet Distributors believes that timber is now an even better option for most users. While there may be a niche market in limited areas for plastic pallets, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on industry in general.”

The NAPD said top grade softwood pallets cost less than half the cost of the cheapest comparable plastic pallet and could be easily adapted to meet a customer’s needs.

It also said timber pallets were unaffected by summer temperatures in warehouses, while studies of Europallets on a life cycle analysis principle showed softwood pallets to be far ahead of plastics.