446: Transforming River Waste into a Sustainable Pallet with Green Current Solutions

You don’t want to miss this feel-good episode featuring Chad Pregracke, CEO of Green Current Solutions. With a unique background in river cleanup, Pregracke brings a fresh perspective to sustainable practices in logistics, focusing on creating eco-friendly pallet solutions that balance environmental responsibility with supply chain efficiency.

A Mission for Clean Rivers

Pregracke’s dedication to cleaning America’s rivers, particularly the Mississippi, has evolved from his unique teenage experiences of shell diving into a large-scale environmental mission. His journey from firsthand witnessing the river’s pollution to spearheading cleanup efforts demonstrates his deep connection to these waterways. Over the years, his initiative has achieved remarkable milestones:

  • Conducted over 1,400 river cleanups nationwide.
  • Collaborated with over 124,000 volunteers.
  • Successfully removed more than 14 million pounds of garbage from rivers.

Pregracke’s efforts extend beyond cleaning; he’s also educating and inspiring others through initiatives like his new classroom barge, further spreading awareness and engagement in river conservation.

The Journey from River Cleanup to Sustainable Pallet Production

Pregracke shares his journey from river cleanup crusader to innovator in the logistics sector. His passion for cleaning America’s rivers, planting trees, and finding new uses for the waste led to the creation of sustainable pallets. “Plastics are a huge problem, and most of what we’re pulling out. We use the barges as a floating recycling center. We sorted everything out, but nobody would take all the big bulky rigid plastics like the five-gallon buckets, milk crates, and barrels. We spent $349,000 over 14 years to get rid of this plastic and knew there must be a better way.”

Building and Designing a Sustainable Pallet

Pregracke explains, “Pulling plastic out is labor intensive. We run excavators, but it boils down to many people helping out.” A family who owned a shuttered-down tractor factory loved what Green Current was doing to clean up the rivers and sold it them at a great price. 

They have several facilities dedicated to grinding and injection molding, allowing them to process 3,000 pounds per hour. “The design of our pallets took a year and a half. We hired some of the best consultants we could have in the plastics industry,” says Pregracke. In an effort to be cost-efficient, their operation is heavily automated. “We figured with automation, we could do that and then be more competitive no matter where the plant is.” Although they’ve only been rolling out since earlier this year, the feedback is impressive. 

Key Takeaways

  • Commitment to Clean Rivers: Pregracke’s commitment to environmental conservation led to over 1,400 river cleanups, engaging over 124,000 volunteers and removing more than 14 million pounds of garbage.
  • Innovative Transition to Logistics: From river cleanup to sustainable pallet production, Green Current Solutions exemplifies innovative reuse of river waste, contributing to environmental sustainability and supply chain efficiency.
  • Eco-Friendly Pallet Production: Utilizing advanced grinding and injection molding processes in repurposed facilities, Green Current produces durable, eco-friendly pallets using 100% recycled materials, showing a commitment to sustainable logistics solutions.

Listen to the episode and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Learn More About Chad Pregracke and Green Current Solutions Below:

For more information about sustainable solutions in warehousing, check out the podcasts below. 

413: Creating a Sustainable Supply Chain: Strategies for a Greener Future

405: Sustainable Packaging Solutions with Cory Connors

369: Sustainable Packaging with Arka

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© The New Warehouse.
All rights reserved.