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Pinterest Interest is driving climate of uncertainty for 'misguided' upcycling

17 Nov, 2019 | published at 10:52 CET

We are warning about the dangers of the ‘Pinterest interest’ that is fuelling a climate of uncertainty for the misguided upcycling of pallets which could result in hidden damage to the environment

Fears around climate change and the panic to re-use and recycle existing products, as displayed in hundreds of posts on the Pinterest social media site, have prompted Phil Storer, our UK and Ireland director, to urge green enthusiasts to be more discerning with what they upcycle into new products.

Storer, a packaging expert with more than 30 years’ experience and who coined the phrase ECOnomics to describe the synchronicity between environmental protection and economic necessity in the circular economy, said more education is needed.

“Social media sites such as Pinterest encourage upcycling unloved products, which is great,” he said.

“However, there’s a strong environmental caveat when it comes to wooden pallets because businesses like IPP pool or rent them to keep FMCG products moving though the supply chain as part of the circular economy. We need to extend their life through constant repair and repatriation so they are ready to go again.

“People who make things out of them break that cycle because they are confusing recycling and upcycling.

“By cutting a pallet’s life short, they are contributing to the need for cutting down more trees unnecessarily.

“However, rather than curbing their enthusiasm, we want them to be clear as to the provenance of the pallet to make sure it is not part of a pooling process.

“If it is past its useful life as a pallet, it can be re-purposed or re-imagined, but only at that point,” he added.