Merck

Greener Cooler

Greener Cooler

Our recyclable plant-based cooler

Our first-ever recyclable insulated shipping container is a plant-based alternative to coolers made of expanded polystyrene (EPS). Our Greener Cooler is made of paper and starch, making it certified curbside recyclable alongside other paper-based and corrugated cardboard products.

Our commitment to reduce EPS

As part of our SMASH Packaging plan, we have committed to reduce our use of EPS by 20% by 2022.

While EPS has good insulation and cushioning properties, it is difficult for our customers to recycle. Because it is a petroleum-based material, it takes hundreds of years to naturally degrade, causing environmental problems—especially once it enters marine environments.

How do I recycle it?

  1. Remove the products and ice pack from the box.
  2. Flatten the box and the insulation material.
  3. Place them both in the recycling bin. It’s as simple as that!

Insulation Performances

We conducted a comprehensive qualification study to demonstrate that this new cooler meets our requirements for effective cold chain transportation of our products.

The pack-out configurations were defined based on the size of the coolers and the transportation duration. These configurations were tested under the ISTA 7E 24-hour summer profile by an ISTA-certified thermal transport laboratory.

Implementation Plan

We have started a pilot implementation of this new cooler in one of our distribution centers in the US for our 2° C to 8° C domestic shipments. We have expansion plans for additional distribution centers in the US and in other geographies and for our dry ice shipments under investigation.
In the meantime, our Polystyrene Cooler Return Program will continue to be available for our US customers.

Count me in!

We are planning on implementing the Greener Cooler in additional US distribution centers. Until then, please click here to contribute to our Polystyrene Cooler Return Program.

As you start to receive your next products in the Greener Cooler, share your feedback with us on social media with the hashtag #SmallerFootprints.

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