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

Image

Trexel charges patent infringement against Taiwan company

October 20, 2014 3:25 pm ET

Trexel Inc., the supplier of the MuCell microcellular foaming technology, is accusing a Taiwanese company, Chuan Lih Fa Machinery Works, of violating ...    More

Materials firm realigns business divisions

October 20, 2014 1:23 pm ET

Trinseo S.A., formerly known as Styron L.L.C., is realigning its business divisions, creating two new business groups — Performance Materials...    More

Image

Humanoid robot provides inspection service with a smile

October 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

Everyone knows robots can improve production and quality. But no one says they can't show a little personality while they're working.    More

Image

Hasco gets into augmented reality

October 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

Mold makers may be used to seeing cores and pins on the exhibition stand of a supplier — but not augmented reality that looks like it comes...    More

Image

Corbion Purac collaboration taking bioplastics into even more uses

October 17, 2014 6:00 am ET

Corbion Purac NV's collaboration with Taiwan-headquartered compounder Supla Co. Ltd. and Taiwan electronics producer Kuender & Co. is paying dividends...    More

Market Reports

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

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

More Events