3 Replacements for Styrofoam Shipping Boxes

08.26.16 // Heritage Paper

Styrofoam shipping boxes are made from polystyrene plastic, commonly used for its strong insulation and cushioning properties. Fragile items, such as wine bottles, can be shipped long distances in Styrofoam shipping boxes without being damaged. Foods, medical supplies and other temperature-sensitive items can be shipped safely at consistent temperatures in Styrofoam boxes.

Styrofoam is often known for its negative impact on the environment: Although polystyrene is recyclable, the material is not widely accepted at most recycling centers. In addition, the plastic is produced with nonrenewable fossil fuels and takes a very long time to biodegrade. Below, find three sustainable replacements for Styrofoam shipping containers.

  1. Biodegradable Materials: With growing awareness of Styrofoam’s harm to the environment, there are now foam shipping containers made from biodegradable plastics. Single-use foam shipping boxes are made from all-natural materials, such as corn starch, and can be dissolved and disposed of in compost piles.
  2. Corrugated Cardboard: As the most recyclable material on the planet and a strong, versatile and durable material, corrugated cardboard makes an ideal replacement for Styrofoam shipping boxes. With the addition of biodegradable foam insulation and cooling materials such as dry ice and cold ice packs, corrugated cardboard containers can ship temperature-sensitive products safely.
  3. Molded Fiber Shippers: Manufactured with waste paper, molded fiber materials are highly recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. With thick walls that can be molded to nearly any shape or size, molded fiber shipping containers can keep consistent temperatures over long distances for a variety of sensitive items.

Find more information on sustainable packaging materials contact us today.

Take the First Step

Let’s talk about how we can optimize your entire packaging supply chain with impactful custom packaging design, fulfillment and equipment solutions.