Orbis Corp., Oconomowoc, Wis., has gained approval from its insurance carrier for the use of an alternative to the fire retardant, deca-bromine, in the manufacture of plastic pallets.

The announcement comes 18 months after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached agreement with U.S. producers and a large importer to phase out the production, importation and sales of deca-bromine by the end of 2013.

Effective immediately, all Orbis pallets approved by Factory Mutual Insurance Co, Johnston, R.I., can be manufactured with the new fire retardant, according to a news release. The new fire retardant was not identified.

“Orbis is dedicated to developing solutions that work for companies across a variety of industries,” Andrea Nottestad, marketing manager for consumer goods, said in the release. “Our pursuit of this material, and its subsequent approval by Factory Mutual, puts our reusable plastic pallets at the forefront of the industry.”

According to the EPA, studies have shown that deca-bromine can degrade to more toxic chemicals that have been found in the environment and are hazardous to wildlife.