Wool waste to oust polystyrene
Australian business Planet Protector Packaging has won the inaugural 2020 Ocean Impact Pitchfest for its sustainable thermal packaging solution that plans to eliminate polystyrene from supply chains.
After being contracted to set up operations for an Australian meal-kit company, Joanne Howarth, the CEO and founder of Planet Protector Packaging, said she was horrified by the huge volume of wasteful, non-biodegradable polystyrene packaging. “Polystyrene has been the ‘go-to’ for 60-plus years, but it’s destroying our planet!” she said.
Howarth set about developing a sustainable thermal packaging solution that would be suitable for food, seafood and pharmaceutical companies. The company designed the WOOLPACK Insulated packaging, which is made from sheep waste wool.
“We leverage the thermal properties of wool; just as the wool keeps the sheep warm in winter, so, too, does it keep them cool in summer.”
Since its establishment in 2016, Planet Protector Packaging claims to have removed 6.5 million polystyrene boxes from supply chains.
The company has worked with global brands such as Blackmores, DHL and Baxter Pharmaceuticals on a wide range of supply chains, from meal kits, seafood, meat, cheese and chocolate to pharmaceuticals.
The award, which saw more than 200 applicants from 38 counties, celebrates and supports businesses that make a positive impact on the environment. It is underpinned by the UN sustainable development goal number 14 of “innovation for a sustainable ocean”.
Howarth was honoured to win the award. “At Planet Protector Packaging, we hero the humble sheep, who has become a secret weapon in defending our oceans from polystyrene,” she said.
Ocean Impact Organisation co-founder Tim Silverwood said the competition within Pitchfest 2020 was incredibly strong with applications received from start-ups and businesses operating worldwide.
“The team at Planet Protector Packaging should be incredibly proud of their achievements in being recognised as the winner from such a broad field of technologies and innovations,” Silverwood said.
Image courtesy of Planet Protector Packaging.