Rio Tinto takes a heavy-duty approach to reduce plastic footprint

Pallet wraps are used to secure and protect goods during transport and storage and are typically made of multiple layers of materials, including plastic stretch wrap.

Australia sends over 100,000 tonnes of stretch wrap to landfill annually, including cling film, catering film, silage film and pallet wrap. Pallet wrap is a critical part of the global supply chain, and petroleum-based pallet wrap is very rarely recycled, with more than 90 per cent of it going to landfill.

Mining giant and long-term customer of Tradesales, Rio Tinto, is making inroads in minimising its plastic footprint, including by swapping to heavy-duty site boxes for small freight transport.

Image: Tradesales

“Odd-shaped small parts are often sent on wood pallets and then wrapped in multiple layers of pallet wrap, so they’re not damaged in transport,” Tradesales key account manager Jason Painter said.

“Rio Tinto asked us to design and manufacture heavy-duty site boxes for each of their 14 iron ore mines in WA. To make life easier for people working at the central distribution hub, we painted each mine’s boxes differently.”

The heavy-duty site box (item code: HDSB003) is a heavy-duty steel jobsite storage box designed to withstand harsh conditions on mining, construction, and other industrial sites.

The box, which is made in WA, is stackable and features four-way forklift access for easy transport and handling. The rubber-sealed swing door protects stored items and ensures that they stay safe and secure even in harsh weather conditions.

“As standard, the HDSB003 has a container-style locking mechanism; however, the client requested a flush key lock so that the boxes could sit side-by-side on a truck bed, increasing the efficiency for the logistics partner,” Painter said.

“They’re stackable three high, which means you can save real estate in the laydown yard. The boxes also feature a positive locking mechanism, which makes them suitable for pallet racking.”

The HDSB003 is 1200mm high, 1100mm wide and 1100mm deep, giving the site box close to 1500L of volume. On top of this, the HDSB has a certified working load limit of 1000kg.

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