Start-up company CocoPallet will be turning coconut husks into a reusable source to replace the traditionally used but rapidly becoming non-environmentally-friendly wood pallets. The Dutch company places itself in a niche where they are aiming to provide a cost-effective solution within the freight transport industry through innovating how we use the coconut tree.
Annually, the world harvests an estimated 74 billion coconuts, where around 85% of the unwanted hairy husk is either being burned, thrown in the ocean, or piled up to create a giant biohazard.
Jan van Dam, a researcher at the Wageningen University who helped develop the product for CocoPallet, says that they can find means to turn the often thrown resource into something useful.
Inspired by a primitive Indonesian procedure that was practiced by only a handful, Van Dam figured that he could replicate the process and turn the olden day product into what today’s society needs.
“It looked like a normal piece of hardboard,” says Van Dam when an Indonesian man presented him with the coconut product. “But according to this man, it was not made out of logged trees, but completely made out of coconut bark, the outer shell of the fruit.”