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Live at PACK EXPO East: Starch-based, Compostable E-comm Panels Maintain Cold Chain for Meal Kits

Food & beverage has lagged other products in e-commerce adoption since the cold chain is hard to maintain. Also, packaging that does keep cold temps may not match brands' sustainability goals. But this starch-based solution is compostable.

Veritiv's Kip Thompson demonstrates the starch-based panels used to maintain the cold chain for food in e-comm, such as meal kits.
Veritiv's Kip Thompson demonstrates the starch-based panels used to maintain the cold chain for food in e-comm, such as meal kits.

Veritiv is using its time at PACK EXPO East to demonstrate a range of new, fiber-based materials, including a starch-based panel system called Storopack Starch Insulated Panels. The product is manufactured in the USA by Storopack, a fifteen-year partner of Veritiv with a commitment to sustainability. The two have an exclusivity agreement. 

Food and beverage brands have been seeking to ship product via e-commerce, and have made major inroads via food kits made famous by brands like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. While these packaging systems use corrugated, they often are forced to use difficult-to-recycle materials to help maintain the cold chain. For the end consumer, that means some portion of the packaging would not be curbside recyclable. 

At the show, Veritiv's Kip Thompson, Regional Marketing Manager, demonstrated Storopack Starch Insulated Panels, which the company says allows for easy and environmentally friendly disposal of packaging materials by the consumer, with fully compostable starch panels and recyclable plastic components.

Perhaps most importantly, it can maintain 60 to 70 hours of thermal protection at 2° to 8° Celsius, alongside refrigerants (performance may vary based on number of refrigerants). 

Thickness ranges from 0.5 in. to 2 in., and can be paired with optimized ice packs for maximum coolness. The product is fairly rigid and fits to a corrugated case well, the company says. PW

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