From chilled food products to temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals, wool is at the heart of a revolution in the insulated packaging being used for temperature controlled logistics. Significantly, it’s not just the pressures to find more sustainable packaging systems that’s driving the change but which packaging offers the best performance.
Hygroscopic properties of wool make it nature’s ‘smart fibre’ for insulation purposes and multi award-winning packaging designer, Angela Morris, has harnessed this in developing the simply ingenious Woolcool insulated packaging.
Angela Morris initially developed Woolcool as a sustainable alternative to polystyrene insulated packaging for National Trust farmers to dispatch meat boxes to customers. Woolcool is made using natural fleece which is washed and scoured without using harmful chemicals and sealed within recyclable, food grade film to make insulation liners for a range of rigid, cardboard delivery boxes and pouches.
Rigorous testing has proved that Woolcool packaging maintains contents below the legal requirement for food of 5°c for at least 24 hours and even well over 48 hours. Woolcool has also been proven to keep contents consistently cooler for longer than the most widely used polystyrene boxes.
With such impressive performance results, along with the unrivalled ‘green’ credentials of wool over polystyrene, Woolcool has increasingly been adopted by a host of direct delivery food suppliers, ranging from Abel & Cole to Fortnum & Mason.
Angela Morris: “The performance and versatility of Woolcool means our packaging isn’t simply a niche product for eco-friendly, ethical food retailers but also every business trying to tap into the booming direct delivery food market. Our proven results mean food retailers can ship orders with confidence, by post or courier, the length and breadth of the UK and beyond. Woolcool is at the cutting edge of food sector developments, whether we’re supplying major players in the mail order recipe kit sector, such as Hello Fresh and Gousto, or the growing numbers of online diet and health food businesses”.
“There is a growing realisation that current oil-based insulated packaging materials such as Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) or Polyethylene are not only unsustainable but also failing to provide consistent insulation performance for temperature controlled logistics“
Building on this success for chilled food logistics, Woolcool is now expanding into the delivery of highly temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals. Morris explains: “It is absolutely critical that many medicines and vaccines are maintained within tight temperature ranges of 2°C to 8°C and 15°C to 20°C, during complex supply chains and significant variations of ambient temperatures. The UK government backed Technology Strategy Board recognized the potential of Woolcool and we have been awarded funding to specifically develop our insulated packaging for the pharmaceuticals sector”.
The TSB investment in Woolcool reflects growing concerns over failings in the existing cold chain logistics of temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals, which culminated in the 2013 publication by the European Commission of ‘Guidelines on Good Distribution Practice of Medicinal Products for Human Use’. The guidelines are intended to ensure the strictest procedures at every stage of the supply chain and greater accountability from wholesalers to distributors, recognising that ‘Today’s distribution network for medicinal products is increasingly complex and involves many players’. When auditing and analysis of existing packaging reveal failings in complex supply chains, specially designed Woolcool packaging could hold the answer, having already been validated by key customers to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) standards of maintaining internal temperatures between 2°C and 8°C for more than 72 hours.
In the pharmaceuticals sector, one of the world’s leading wholesalers of veterinary medical supplies, Henry Schein Animal Health, has already switched to bespoke Woolcool insulated packaging, as well as Dental Directory, the UK’s largest, British owned, full service dental dealer. Angela Morris: “We’re incredibly excited about the results Woolcool is achieving and we are now setting unrivalled standards for pharmaceuticals logistics that will be vital for compliance with the EU GDP Guidelines”.
More information at www.woolcool.com
CEO of Woolcool