A company that makes expanded polystyrene packaging is buying a company that makes natural fiber alternatives to EPS packaging.
Engineered Foam Packaging Corp. (EFP) of Elkart, Ind., a maker of custom protective packaging and cold chain products, announced Dec. 19 it acquired NatureKool Inc., which it claims is the world's first producer of natural fiber-insulated shippers.
EFP President John Hoeper said in a news release the acquisition "strengthens our presence in the growing field of curbside recyclable packaging." Raleigh, N.C.-based NatureKool also expands EFP's geographic reach and offers environmental benefits, he added.
NatureKool temperature-control packaging is made of natural fibers from bast-fiber plants, including hemp and jute. The company mainly gets those plant fibers from post-industrial waste, but even as crops, bast plants require little water and fertilizer, grow quickly without the use of harsh chemicals such as pesticides and are processed without chemicals.
Bast plants produce as much as four times the fiber per acre as trees and capture more C02, according to NatureKool, and the company's products are compostable, curbside-recyclable and match the thermal performance of EPS insulation.
EFP's Temperature Solutions Group, a unit of EFP LLC, makes EPS thermal protective products used to transport pharmaceuticals, food, vaccines and other temperature-sensitive products. EFP LLC also makes insulation products for the agriculture, appliance, furniture, plumbing, building, construction and recreational vehicle industries. In addition to EPS, it uses extruded PS, expanded polypropylene, expanded polyethylene and engineered copolymer blends.
With locations in Evansville, Ind.; La Vergne, Tenn.; Decatur, Ala.; and Reno, Nev., EFP is an independent unit of J.B. Poindexter & Co. Inc. of Houston. JBPCo is a privately held, $1.5 billion company whose portfolio includes diversified manufacturing companies. It acquired EFP in 1985.