Ecospan expands line of bioplastic cases

Mike Verespej

Published: October 9, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability Materials Suppliers
Companies & Associations

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

Ford moving forward in carbon fiber for 'high volume' use

April 17, 2015 10:21 am ET

Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal with a carbon-fiber manufacturer to jointly explore “high-volume” automotive uses for the lightweight...    More

Image

Thailand's Royal Group adding thermoforming plant in Indiana

April 17, 2015 11:17 am ET

Royal Interpack North America Inc. is spending $12 million to make recycle-content PET clamshell containers in Anderson, Ind.    More

Image

Zoltek expanding CF capacity in Europe

April 17, 2015 10:12 am ET

Leading carbon fiber group Zoltek Corp. has signed a strategic agreement with the Hungarian government to expand its operation in northern Hungary,...    More

Image

Hanwha Azdel adds capacity in Lynchburg

April 16, 2015 2:01 pm ET

Composite maker Hanwha Azdel Inc. will add space and a new production line at its Lynchburg, Va., production facility, the company announced April 16.    More

Image

Denmark's Faerch Plast looks to expand packaging market beyond Europe

April 16, 2015 10:52 am ET

Denmark-based Faerch Plast A/S, a food packaging company, has announced it plans to target Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, the U.S., Canada, ...    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

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

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

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

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events