ACH Foam Technologies LLC recently uncorked what it claims is the first expanded polystyrene packaging to contain 60 percent recycled content.
The packaging is manufactured with EcoSix, a recycled-content molding bead supplied by Rapac LP of Oakland, Tenn. Denver-based ACH uses EcoSix in its WineLoc shipping containers.
Erich Brandt, ACH's vice president of sales and marketing, said in a May 4 news release that the process of molding the recycled beads into packaging sufficiently strong enough to pass drop tests took months of trial and error, because recycled beads don't bond together as well as virgin beads.
Our technicians worked for months to perfect the molding process to bring our recycled EPS packaging up to ACH Foam's quality standards, he said.
Ken Adams, Rapac's vice president of marketing, said in the release that typical EPS packaging has contained only virgin material or between 10 and 30 percent recycled content.
There are two key challenges to creating EPS packaging with higher quantities of recycled material, he said: First is the problem of strength; second, supply of the recycled beads is limited.
According to the companies, because of the limited supply of EcoSix beads, WineLoc is the only 60 percent-recycled EPS packaging offered by ACH. But EcoSix is available in limited quantities in other EPS packaging. ACH plans to offer additional packaging products with EcoSix on a regular basis.
We're aiming for as close to 100 percent [recycled content] as we can get, Brandt said. This is round one of an exciting development in environmentally friendly EPS packaging.
ACH also molds EPS foam construction, architectural and geotechnical products. The closed-loop manufacturer operates plants in Denver; McCarran, Nev.; Murray, Utah; Newton and Kansas City, Kan.; Washington, Iowa; Fond du Lac, Wis.; and Gainesville, Ga.
Tel. 800-525-8697, fax 303-292-2613, e-mail [email protected] foam.com.
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