CocoPallet prevents logging
Amsterdam – Producing pallets out of coconut bark without adding glue. For years, everyone told Michiel Vos that it could not be done. With his company CocoPallet he proves the impossible is possible. “Sometimes you just have to not listen and do your own thing.”
CocoPallet makes pallets out of coconut bark. The company is testing successfully in a small testing factory in China. Later this year, the first factory should arise, which should produce 1.2 million CocoPallets a year. “In many Asian countries, there is a big need for pallets and a shortage of native wood,” says Vos. “Many pallets are made out of wood that was logged far away.” Apart from being an environmentally friendly alternative, CocoPallet also brings extra income to the coconut farmers. “Coconut bark causes a large waste flow. Coconut farmers earn little and they can sell their waste streams to us.”
Vos came up with the idea to work with coconut bark during a search for natural glue, when he read a report from the Wageningen University that said that this natural material, apart from fibre, also contains glue. “I have read it twice in one night, and the next day I asked research leader prof. Jan van Dam why there were no products of this material yet.” The idea to make pallets out of coconut bark came a year later when Vos imported four containers with natural stone from Asia and encountered all sorts of issues with the wooden pallets. If a company masters the technique well, the same raw material can be made to press other products, like packaging materials.