This month, our UK partner announced “an all-new, all-singing gel pack hitting our Ice Pack range in early 2020……EnviroGel®.”
Here is an excerpt from the announcement:
“Whilst Gel Ice Packs are very effective at what they do – keeping products cold during transit – they’re non-toxic and food contact safe, the gel polymer solution is a plastic derivative and not soluble. This means it cannot be recycled, it is not compostable, and it is not biodegradable, so disposing of it with no impact on the environment is very difficult – even if you ‘throw it away’ the gel polymer will sit in landfill for years and years to come!
Gel ice packs CAN be reused time and time again and we would highly recommend any end users who receive gel packs in their shipments do this, but this isn’t always possible. The only completely environmentally friendly way to destroy these packs is through incineration, which isn’t always possible either; hence we have a problem!
If one person buys one meal kit per week that is kept cool by gel ice packs in transit, that one person could create 270+ kg of gel polymer waste each year.
If they then pour the gel polymer away down their drain, it will completely clog their pipes – not straight away, but over time. This then leads to blockages and eventually the polymer will have to be cleared and go to landfill.
Any gel polymer in landfill won’t break down and will also trap any new fluids it comes into contact with. Eventually, the water table will become polluted by the plastic within the polymer.
When this happens, the plastic derivative is unlikely to be caught by the water waste stream as it is a ‘micro plastic’, therefore will likely end up in our oceans – and we all know how that ends!
‘Micro Plastics’ are small pieces of plastic that are tiny in size; 5mm or less. Because of their size they are extremely hard to clear and cause long lasting damage to aquatic life and wildlife.
Gel polymer is also known as Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP), HydroGel, Sodium Polyacrylate and Polyacrylate Absorbents. If you come across any of these names on an ice pack, you know you’re dealing with a gel polymer solution.
If a pack bursts open, it is hard to clean up as loose particles will swell when they make contact with water.
EnviroGel® is the eco-friendly alternative Gel Ice Pack that we will be launching alongside our Water Ice Packs to address these issues.”
To read all of Hydropac’s Envirogel announcement, click here.
Frosty Tech conducted the research for and co-developed EnviroGel for Hydropac. Similarly, we worked with major American gel-pack manufacturer, Pelton Shepherd Industries, to develop EnviroIce and EnviroIce+.
We specialize in custom engineering and eco-innovation especially in cold chain and cooling technology. Our patented tech not only increases cooling performance usually at a lower cost but is also beneficial to the environment.
If you or your company are interested in what our technology can do to make your business more efficient, please contact our Director of Business Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.