Ecospan expands line of bioplastic cases

Mike Verespej

Published: October 9, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers, Sustainability

GREENBRAE, CALIF. (Oct. 9, 12:50 p.m. ET) — Buoyed by its success in making customer-specific bioplastic product shipping cases, bioresin materials science company Ecospan LLC has introduced several standard-sized bio-based reusable shipping containers that it believes will help retailers and manufacturers reduce both costs and product damages.

One global global smart phone customer in Asia, for example, that switched from a cardboard-based to a bio-based package developed by Ecospan is “saving $21 million annually,” said Ecospan President Jeff White. “If we could do it for them, then we figured there were many other retailers and manufacturers that could stand to benefit as well.”

The Ecospan BioFlow shipping enclosure cases come in three sizes—3.1 inches x 1.5 inches, 6.1 inches by 3.75 inches and 12.5 inches by 10.3 inches. They are designed to carry handheld devices, mobile phones, GPS consoles, cameras and other high-value consumer products as well as for business-to-business shipping applications between labs and dentists, optometrists and jewelers, for example.

Each shipping enclosure case is designed for up to 15-20 transport cycles. At end of life, the cases are recycled and shredded into recycled resins that are used to make more cases.

“Sustainable applications in reverse logistics are now ... both possible and profitable,” said White. “Our pre-sized, off-the-shelf shipping containers make it easy for businesses to make ... significant ROI [return on investment] on a product returns process that was once a costly burden.”

According to Ecospan, 4-6 percent of all retail purchases are returned each year, costing retailers and manufacturers of consumer electronics $13.8 billion in product returns alone and $40 billion in lost revenues.

The cost from those product returns alone equal nearly 3 percent of revenue for the average retailer, and nearly 6 percent for the average consumer electronics equipment manufacturer, Ecospan said.

Each shipping case has a hinge, a living latching engagement and security system with black being the standard color. The cases are made from an Ecospan proprietary BioFlow plant-based moldable material that is moisture-resistant and break-resistant.

Ecospan said that more than 12 million of its custom-made bioplastic shipping cases have been placed in circulation just in the past year alone.

The Greenbrae, Calif., company was one of the four clean-tech companies on the 2012 Red Herring magazine list of Top 100 privately held, innovative companies that was released earlier this year.


Comments

Ecospan expands line of bioplastic cases

Mike Verespej

Published: October 9, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

China's Jinming honored as global partner by ExxonMobil

December 22, 2014 12:08 pm ET

Guangdong Jinming Machinery Co. Ltd. has been recognized as a global strategic development partner by ExxonMobil Chemical Co.    More

Image

Swedish compounder makes first North American plastics acquisition

December 22, 2014 10:19 am ET

Swedish rubber compounder Hexpol AB has made its first North American plastics acquisition, buying the plastics compounding business of RheTech Inc....    More

Image

The return of HPM's big presses

December 19, 2014 11:47 am ET

HPM is back in big injection molding machines.    More

Image

Ferro sells another piece of its plastics business

December 19, 2014 3:33 pm ET

Ferro Corp. has sold its North American polymer additives business to a private equity firm for $154 million in cash.    More

Image

Antimicrobial polymers firm TiFiber launching pilot production in Ark.

December 19, 2014 10:58 am ET

TiFiber Inc., which makes synthetic compounds to control dangerous microorganisms, will locate a pilot production facility and its future company head...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events