Nick develops recycled cardboard pallets: 'No more hands full of splinters'
Nick Geels lifts the pallet above his head with one hand. 3.7 kilograms weighs the cardboard pallet. Compared to the (traditional) wooden pallet, it is about twenty kilos lighter. The cardboard pallet can lift as many kilos as its wooden brother: up to 1,000 kilos.
In the warehouse of Kees Smit Garden Furniture, Nick Geels (24) from Oldenzaal was breaking his back on the heavy wooden pallets for his side job next to his studies at Saxion. Nick had to wear work gloves otherwise his hands were full of splinters. For his course on Corporate Social Responsibility at Saxion, he had to develop an idea for a sustainable product. For this, he came up with the idea of a pallet made of cardboard.
With my first design, I ended up with a cardboard supplier in Malaysia. They made a pallet that turned out to be far too beautiful and therefore far too expensive: €16. Also, the pallet still weighed 15 kilos. It soon became clear that this was not what the market wanted. Nick went looking for a cardboard supplier in the Netherlands and got behind the drawing table again. Currently, Revopal can supply several categories of pallets: display pallets, mini pallets, euro pallets and block pallets. Here it is also possible for a customer to order a custom Revopal pallet.
Nick has since quit his job at Kees Smit in Almelo to throw himself fully into Revopal. A machine is used to produce the pallets, which ensures that Revopal can deliver large numbers of pallets per day. This allows Revopal to call itself one of the largest cardboard pallet suppliers in Europe.
4 billion pallets
Right now, Revopal has several regular customers who use the cardboard pallets in their business, one of which is Nick's former employer, Kees Smit Garden Furniture. 'I think the logistics world is waiting for this,' says Nick Geels full of optimism. 'The market is big enough, in Europe there are four billion pallets in circulation. Many transporters want to become more sustainable. Recyclable cardboard pallets fit into the circular economy. And transporters save fuel because of less weight.'