Packaging made from waste wool wins big
Woolcool Australia has been acknowledged at the 2018 WorldStar Packaging Awards for its innovative insulated packaging solution, made from a product that is both sustainable and effective — sheep’s wool.
The Packaging Awards were presented at the Australian Institute of Packaging National Conference, held on 2 May in Surfers Paradise. Woolcool won bronze in the Packaging that Saves Food category for the development of its packaging solution, made from sheep’s waste wool combined with a recyclable, food grade liner.
Wool is a good insulation material as it is extremely effective at absorbing moisture from the air, which creates stable temperatures through minimising humidity and condensation. Woolcool’s technology combines a complex blend of wool fibres from different breeds of sheep to provide consistent optimal insulative properties. This wool is felted into a liner and sealed within a recyclable food grade film.
The result is a packaging product that keeps cold products cold and hot products hot, with the added benefit of a protective cushion to safeguard products in transit. These thermal qualities enable the product to ‘save food’ by reducing the wastage often experienced using traditional insulated packaging in the transport and delivery of temperature-sensitive food.
Sustainable, renewable, biodegradable, compostable, recyclable and re-usable, the product has been shown to outperform synthetic packaging materials, including polystyrene. It also has the potential to open new markets for cool chain supply companies, as it is allowing frozen and chilled products to be transported much greater distances and still arrive in the same fresh condition.
Woolcool is proudly endorsed by Planet Ark, with the latter stating that the increasing use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) boxes for home grocery delivery services and pre-prepared meals is resulting in a range of negative environmental impacts.
“Latest statistics indicate that only 29.4% of EPS is currently recycled and the remainder either goes to landfill or ends up polluting our environment and waterways,” said Planet Ark Partner Relations Manager Kristie Baker.
“Woolcool offers a real alternative to traditional insulated packaging like EPS and we encourage businesses to shift their reliance from petrochemical-based products like EPS to renewable alternatives like Woolcool.”
Howarth says that since Woolcool was launched in Australia and New Zealand, an estimated 2.5 million boxes of polystyrene have been removed from the environment.
“That’s just a tiny fraction of the total number of petrochemical-based boxes used once and discarded across Australia and New Zealand every year,” she said. “Imagine the difference we could make if we eliminated polystyrene insulated boxes from our environment altogether — it’s now possible!”
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