What do world trade, wood pallets, tree pests and the ozone layer have in common? In a well-written article appearing in the Drake Journal of Agricultural Law entitled “Analysis of ISPM 15 and its Impact on the Wood Pallet Industry, Nicole Woodroffe discusses in detail an issue I did not know even existed. Volume 15, No. 1 (Spring 2010) I will just summarize some of the surprising facts:
1. Wood Pallets can follow products shipped around the world.
2. Wood can contain a large variety of diseases, insects, and pests if not treated.
3. Wood pallets can be a vector for exotic diseases and pests that can infect local trees once the pallets reach a new destination.
4. An international standard has been developed mandating that pallets and other wood packing material be heat or chemically treated before it can be used for overseas shipping.
5. One of those solutions is an ozone-depleting gas – methyl bromide.
Something one never thinks about.