Game-changing green innovations win Greener Package Awards

The first-ever Greener Package Awards prove that sustainable packaging has hit the mainstream, with innovations that promise to change the face of packaging forever.

Launching the Greener Package Awards during a recession may have been a risky proposition for organizer Greener Package, the online sustainable-packaging knowledge exchange from the publisher of Packaging World. But the 51 entrants to this debut competition proved that where sustainable packaging is concerned, economics are no barrier to innovation. In fact, sustainability's reach into major, mainstream brands over the past year and a half signals its use as a driver toward greater economic sustainability in the future.

The 10 winners of the 2009 Greener Package Awards—including eight winners in the Greener Package category, one in the Clean Manufacturing category, and one in Retail Leadership—represent the best practices in sustainable packaging from a range of industries, including food, pharmaceutical, personal care, and household care.

Pharmaceuticals, biologics, and blood supplies, as well as food products requiring carefully controlled temperature during distribution throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, are all potential applications for the Greenbox thermal management system from Entropy Solutions. Greenbox took home not only a Greener Package Award, but also was selected as Innovator of the Year.

View all of the award winners.

Entropy touts Greenbox as the first temperature-controlled shipper to be "powered" by a 100% bio-based, nontoxic, and biodegradable phase-change material called PureTemp. The material is a specially engineered vegetable-oil derivative that controls temperatures to extremes ranging from as cold as dry ice to as hot as coffee. The patented phase-change materials simultaneously absorb and release heat. PureTemp is contained in "E-Packs." As one E-Pack liquefies, another solidifies, providing a thermostat effect until the package reaches its destination.

The package maintains a payload's temperature for more than five days and addresses the issue of product spoilage, which costs the life science industry alone more than $3 billion per year in lost product, Entropy explains.

"Because it (Greenbox) can be shipped ground and is reusable, it helps customers save more than 65% on shipping and distribution costs," the company says.

Greenbox contains a hard, corrugated plastic outer shell, layers of Thermal-Lok™ insulation, and E-Packs. Each of these components is designed to be switched out at the end of its useful life. Entropy says Greenbox is reusable more than 50 times, with "many customers experiencing up to 100 times." That differs from more traditional shippers that use corrugated, expanded polystyrene, and gel packs. All components of Greenbox are recyclable and biodegradable.
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