JOSIAH LANGA – Metja Pallet Suppliers, A Pallet-able Approach to Sustainability
To ensure that pallets don’t end up as pollution in landfills, an entrepreneur started a circular business model. The business supplies pallets to farmers during harvest season and also sells refurbished pallets to companies that repair and recycle them.
The agriculture sector needs pallets in great numbers during harvest and to cater to this growing demand, Josiah Langa started Metja Pallet Suppliers. “We supply an average of at least 3 000 pallets per farmer during harvest time, and usually this isn’t enough to satisfy demand,” said Josiah.
When he first considered setting up his small business in 2017, his aim was to sell firewood, so it doesn’t end up as pollution. Whilst selling firewood, he realized he could create other income streams from wood. “I changed my business model after I saw there is a high demand for pallets,” he said.
After changing the business model, the business started supplying pallets to clients in Polokwane and it wasn’t long before they received pallet orders from farmers across Limpopo.
Circular business model to ensure pallets don’t go to landfills.
Metja Pallet Suppliers also sells refurbished pallets to companies that repair and recycle them for DIY projects. Pallets that are no longer reusable are sold as firewood. This increases the life span of the pallets and ensures they don’t end up as pollution in landfills.
This business is making a massive contribution in the environmental and sustainability sector. He is also working on creating a buyback service where he will buy pallets that are no longer suitable for use in the agricultural industry but are still sturdy enough to support other work. Josiah explains that this will benefit clients because they will receive a discount on new purchases.
SMEs need to reduce their carbon footprint
The Seshego based business is following in the footsteps of international circular companies that are serious about reducing their carbon footprint. The SME Climate Impact Report
found that in 2021, South Africa’s SMEs contributed an estimated total of 61 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from sources they own or control.
SMEs are encouraged to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing a waste reduction policy that will help to track and audit their waste. By ensuring all their pallets are recycled or reused, the business is reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to decreasing land pollution.
High demand for pallets
According to Josiah, Metja Pallet Supplies is the only pallet supplier in Limpopo, and there is a high demand for pallets; he even receives orders from other provinces.
“One of the greatest challenges facing business right now is being able to keep up with demand, it’s a good problem to have,” said Business Mentor Simon Mahlabe Ramonyai.
The possibilities with pallets are endless and the business plans to establish a manufacturing facility to customize pallets according to customers’ requirements. “In this way, we’re able to provide a spectrum of services throughout the entire lifespan of the pallet,” concluded Josiah.