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New England Biolabs Introduces 100% Recyclable Packaging

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New England Biolabs (NEB®) has announced a transition to a 100% recyclable alternative to expanded polystyrene (EPS) for shipment of most of its products. The new packaging was developed by TemperPack, a U.S. company that focuses on providing sustainable solutions for cold chain shipping. While fully recyclable, this new packaging maintains the proper shipping temperature conditions for its products.

Cold chain shipping has always been a challenge from an environmental standpoint. Enzymes and reagents often require shipment on ice or dry ice, and maintaining shipping temperature is critical, particularly when shipping long distances or to warmer climates. EPS has historically been the "gold standard" for cold shipping, as it is light, durable, and well-known for its insulative properties. Unfortunately, EPS is difficult to recycle, and often makes its way to landfills.

To address this, NEB's new shipping box will use the ClimaCell® insert, which is paper-based and can maintain the required temperature conditions for the duration of a product's delivery time. The entire box is recyclable, with other corrugated cardboard, after unpacking.

"NEB has always placed environmental stewardship as one of our highest priorities," said Jim Ellard, CEO of NEB. "We are continuously working to promote ecologically sound practices and environmental sustainability, to protect our natural resources both locally and globally. It is our goal to continuously improve our business processes to minimize our impact on the environment. Transitioning to a 100% recyclable solution for shipping our products represents an important step in achieving this goal."

"We are excited to partner with NEB in its efforts to implement a more sustainable solution for its shipping process," said James McGoff, founder of TemperPack. "Not only are they helping to eliminate EPS from landfills, but the transition to the ClimaCell shipper represents a 25% reduction in carbon emissions."

NEB's ClimaCell cooler will begin to replace EPS shipments in the U.S. in late April / early May 2020. For a minority of NEB products that still rely on EPS, specifically those that require shipment on dry ice, NEB will maintain its shipping box recycling program, which allows customers to use a free return label to send their EPS shipping box back to NEB for re-use.