According to Jan Vreken, the founder of Kimmo, the company’s KimmoBoard and KimmoBin products are an ideal replacement for wooden pallet boards and crates. Made from honeycomb fibreboard technology, KimmoBoard is a strong, lightweight fibreboard, and the KimmoBin is essentially a fibreboard crate.

Honeycomb fibreboard technology takes its name from the visual resemblance to a bee’s honeycomb which has an inner cellulose structure that is sandwiched between specially treated paper liners. Honeycomb technology was discovered in the 1950s and is adopted by many other industries due to its unique weight to strength ratio. A honeycomb structure has a minimal weight and high compressive strength - which makes it incredibly strong but surprisingly light.

Environmentally friendly alternative to wooden pallet boards

This technology makes KimmoBoard ideally suited to the heavy duty bulk packaging industry. KimmoBoard offers a compressive strength of 16 tons per m2, ensuring excellent rigidity and protection properties, allowing these products to endure impact and high loads. Its light weight makes Kimmo products easy to transport and move and can provide savings with transport costs – particularly for air freight.

“KimmoBoard provides outstanding value for its level of strength and rigidity. It is also environmentally friendly (made from recyclable material) and non-toxic. While legislation with regard to recycling is starting to pick up pace in South Africa, there are a number of laws in Europe that already focus on the recycling of packaging. A third party recycler typically disposes to different waste streams. When transporting product using corrugated boxes and wooden pallets, it becomes a headache to separate the wood and paper into two waste streams,” Vreken says.

“There is a further complication if the wooden pallets have been carrying hazardous products or have been treated with methyl bromide, as these products can be absorbed by the wood and provide a huge risk to anyone who uses the wood afterwards. It therefore makes sense to use our products and form one waste stream – saving time, money and the environment.”

Another advantage of KimmoBoard, as opposed to wood, is that it is ISPM-15 compliant. When products are exported in wooden packaging, ISPM-15 requires the wooden packaging to be debarked and then heat treated or fumigated with methyl bromide in order to prevent the risk of pests and insects spreading between countries.

Treating wooden pallets is an expense and can cause complications as heat treating the wood can make it brittle and weak. Fumigating wood with methyl bromide is also undesirable. Methyl bromide is a highly toxic, ozone depleting material and cannot be used to treat pallets used to transport food and pharmaceuticals. It is corrosive to the skin and eyes and has an unpleasant mouldy odour.

“The Achilles Heel of KimmoBoard is that people associate it with paper. You cannot compare KimmoBoard to normal cardboard; it is far more comparable in terms of performance and strength to wood. It is like relating Tupperware to Glad Wrap – they are both made from plastic but are vastly different. But then again, it is an aspect that I enjoy about KimmoBoard – it is often under estimated and takes our customers by surprise in terms of performance and strength. I truly believe that KimmoBoard is an exciting product that has the ability to revolutionize the packaging industry,” Vreken concludes.

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