Today’s post is by Debbie Wilcox, CPSM and Vice President of Sales & Marketing at SafeSourcing.
A recent NPR radio segment estimated the value of stolen recyclable plastic at $500 million per year. Items often targeted include plastic pallets, milk crates, bread racks and similar items.
Southern California is an area of the country highly affected by pallet theft however it can happen anywhere and it is a nationwide problem. Thieves target warehouse and grocery store loading docks, where pallets and milk crates are often found. They take the stolen items to local recyclers where the going rate is about fifteen cents per pound. The plastic is then used to make new pallets and crates.
In November of this year, a California dairy, Rockview Farms, estimates the cost of stolen milk crates has totaled up to $1.5 million per year. In 2010, Trader Joe’s announced that $2 million worth of plastic pallets had been stolen in an 18 month period. Albertsons and the US Postal Service have also acknowledged theft of plastic pallets.
So, what can you do to deter thieves from taking your recyclable plastic? You can add ownership markings or stamps onto the pallets and containers, institute inventory controls and safeguard items rather than leave them outside overnight. There is also a website that can be used to notify law enforcement and recyclers about missing items: www.ScrapTheftAlert.com.
ScrapTheftAlert.com is a free theft notification website that has been used by police to send detailed descriptions of stolen items to recycling centers and law enforcement within a 100 mile radius of the crime. Upon validation and review, alerts you post are broadcast by email to all subscribed users and remain active for 30 days. The system also facilitates communication by scrap recyclers to alert police when they are offered suspicious materials at a scrap yard.
If your business has experienced pallet and container theft, take steps to mitigate it. Report theft to authorities and consider using the ScrapTheftAlert.com network.
If you need assistance in purchasing new or replacement plastic pallets or crates, contact SafeSourcing to get the best price possible. What other steps have you used to reduce plastic container theft in your organization?
We look forward to and appreciate your comments