Over the last couple of month, Third Son’s Holistic Doctor has prescribed B-12 shots to help with his ADD symptoms. Jacob does not seem to be as tired or distracted while he is receiving the shots. However, the B-12 shots are sent in a Styrofoam cooler in order to keep them at the appropriate temperature. The first time I received the little igloo, I stared at it and said to myself, “where am I going to recycle this?” No one takes molded Styrofoam. The pharmacy which sent it is an hour away and the EPS recycler is 45 minutes away! (EPS is short for extruded polystrene.) Is there a greener option? Landaal Packaging’s green foam coolers.
Landaal Packaging to the rescue!
Thank goodness Bernie Scibienski, Vice President of Operations at Landaal Packaging was watching the LinkedIn forums. I started a discussion in one of the green groups asking in desperation for a greener cooler. They sell the product that could help me with my B-12 woes. In fact as I learned during my ensuing podcast and Powerpoint video-cast, this 51 year old Company had not just one but three different green products. All to make a green girl swoon.
I encourage all of you to listen to the podcast and video-cast as I interviewed Bernie Scibienski and Terry Choate, Sales and Operation Planning Manager. Listed below is a summary of the interview. However, and this a big However, If you want to learn more about their products, I would urge you to watch the video-cast or listen to the podcast. I found their presentation very interesting. The video and podcast is about 30 minutes long.
Corrugated packaging box lined with Green Foam
Remember my B-12 issue? Well, this corrugated green cooler box is the answer to my dilemma. This corrugated cooler box is lined with GreenCell Foam made by KTM Industries, which is a moldable, corn starch foam. In fact, the non-GMO corn is grown in the US.
So why so Green, Anna?
It is compostable, burnable, biodegradable, or can be dissolved and washed down the drain. Whew. That was a mouthful. Moreover, during my interview, I was told that you can put your green cooler in the paper recycling bin and the recyclers will pick it up. Can’t be bothered with the Earth? Simply throw it outside. It will dissolve in four weeks in a moist soil environment.
Choate mentioned that you can give it back to a facility who could use it to turn it into energy or Ethanol.
(Didn’t they know they had me at hello. But to be able to put it in your paper recycle? Well, someone pinch me, please.)
But is it cost effective?
According to Scibienski, the product is marginally more in cost; however, switching from next day air to second day ground will save a company money that would offset any increase in price. I was assured that the product has comparable time and temperature curves to Styrofoam.
How about how it is Made?
According to Choate, Green Cell Foam uses 70 percent less energy than polystyrene. Further, the foam is made with a water- based blowing agent rather than a petroleum based one that is used to make polystyrene. In addition, the foam is from a renewable source unlike polystyrene which is made out of petroleum, which takes about 10 million years to reproduce.
What good is is it if it falls apart? The product is about five years old and Choate has found that five year old coolers are still intact in their original condition.
The Company has stock coolers, ready to ship foam to put in US Postal boxes, and custom coolers for custom logo or sizes.
Reniki Fiber is a new enzyme based way to recycle corrugated boxes. This enzyme will reduce the ten-step process to three steps. Thus, energy and water consumption will be greatly reduced. In addition, this process delivers a better end product fiber to make paper. Scibienski felt that this process will create a niche for recycled paper since the fiber produced is more like virgin fiber. Plus, an added benefit would be more corrugated boxes would be recycled. Market availability is estimated for 2011. The Company will be selling the recycled pulp as well as the enzyme to other mills to help them reduce their energy use.
Bag in the Box:
Dow is currently using this bag in the box packaging system which replaces rigid plastic containers. It is a 15 liter cardboard box which has a cartridge inside. Think wine in the box except for commercial applications.
The benefits of this packaging system is it reduces transportation costs since it is lighter than a comparable rigid plastic container, uses 66 percent less petroleum to make the packaging system, and the surrounding box is recyclable. According to Scibienski, this packaging system is ideal for any liquid that is not flammable such as cooking oil and cleaning products.
Well, Scibienski was not fibbing when they told me prior to my email how green Landaal Packaging was. Believe me, I get my fair share of “look how green I am” PR releases. I was definitely not disappointed after my conversation with Choate and Scibienski. I can’t wait until Reniki Fiber hits the market.
What about my coolers? An email is going out today urging my compounding pharmacy to get on the green cooler band wagon. It absolutely will fit with their alternative health mission.
Readers, here are my questions to you:
Could you use any of the above products for your company?
Thoughts about the products?
How would you recycle the Green Foam or would you rather give it to a facility to create energy from it?
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