Stratocell R / Ethafoam HRC
Protective packaging using at least 65% recycled foam material
It is now possible for your business to source recycled foam packaging that does not compromise performance or protection for your items during handling / transit.
Both Stratocell R and Ethafoam HRC are polyethylene foams with high recycled content (minimum 65%), helping to minimise the environmental impact of your packaging. Their high performance – coupled with GWP Protectives’ foam conversion expertise – also means that they can offer the same protection using less material, reducing pack sizes and further minimising material use. Read More
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More info on recycled foam packaging
With sustainability becoming an increasing focus for most businesses, there have been concerns that standard foam materials (such as Ethafoam and Stratocell) are unsuited to a more environmentally friendly approach.
Whilst it could be strongly argued that foam packaging such as end caps, trays, lined boxes and so on can be sustainable if used correctly (minimising damage, material use, transport emissions etc.), there is now an alternative option.
As such, your business can benefit from utilising recycled foam packaging material.
Both the Stratocell R and Ethafoam HRC foams contain a high percentage of recycled material. This can range between 100% and 65% (minimum) pre-consumer recycled resin content, depending on the grade / option chosen.
These materials are also fully recyclable themselves (although specialist facilities are required), meaning that your foam packaging can become part of sustainable, reusable loop.
Further environmental advantages
Both Stratocell R and Ethafoam HRC recycled foam packaging can help to realise further environmental benefits too, however.
First, by minimising transit damage it vastly reduces the amount of broken goods that may potentially end up in landfill. In fact, recycled foams offer protection levels equivalent to standard Stratocell and Ethafoam, maintaining performance even after multiple impacts or instances of mishandling.
Second, the nature of the foam – when combined with an expert designer – can also help minimise material use.
This not only applies to the foam itself (with foam end caps being a good example of minimal foam usage whilst maintaining protection) but also the outer corrugated packaging. Less foam equals smaller outer packs, which uses less cardboard. However, smaller outer packaging also means that more can transported in a single lorry load / consignment, further reducing CO2 emissions.
Third, less material also offers benefits for your customers too. It makes it easier for them dispose / recycle the packaging, whilst also implying that your business takes your environmental responsibilities seriously too. This is obviously combined with the fact that consumer satisfaction is increased by not taking receipt of damage items.
All of this adds up to mean that, if you are looking to reduce your environmental impact but your products require specific levels of protection, recycled foam packaging provides a sensible solution.
Key benefits of recycled foam packaging at a glance
- Minimum 65% recycled content
- Reduces environmental impact of your packaging
- Can be fabricated into complex protective packaging
- High performance levels allow for less material usage
- Helps to minimise (outer) pack size and material use
- In turn reduces emissions from minimising transit requirements
- Prevents damage to items in transit, reducing waste / items sent to landfill
- Effective over multiple drops / impacts
- Helps improve customer satisfaction
- Can be sourced alongside outer packs (corrugated) for best results
- Can be recycled at end of life (specialist centres only)
Common questions on recycled foam
Have questions about switching to recycled foam packaging?
If the following section of frequently asked questions doesn’t provide the info you need, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
What is recycled foam packaging?
Recycled foam packaging is effectively end caps, inserts and other forms of packaging manufactured using recycled content. Typically, this is waste foam material, with the resin content being recycled to create the new material.
What is Ethafoam HRC?
Ethafoam HRC (the HRC denoting “High Recycled Content”) is manufactured using a minimum 65% pre consumer recycled resin content. It provides the usual benefits and qualities of standard Ethafoam PE foam.
What is Stratocell R?
Stratocell R (the R standing for “Recycled”) is a version of the popular packaging foam material that is manufactured using recycled content. As with Ethafoam HRC, it contains a minimum of 65% recycled resin content and maintains the same level of performance as the regular Stratocell polyethylene foam.
Is recycled foam packaging recyclable?
PE foams are classified as low-density PE (LDPE) material and can be recycled in LDPE recycling systems. This also includes Sealed Air’s own Closed Loop Recycling program. You can find out more about this at recyclepefoam.com.
Is foam eco-friendly?
Many will argue that foam is not eco-friendly, mainly as it is not biodegradable. However, it can be recycled, can be manufactured using recycled content and can also help minimise pack sizes, damage (resulting in items being sent to landfill) and CO2 emissions (less bulk in transit). Saying that, there is a range of alternative inserts available that may be considered.
Will recycled foam protect my items as well as regular foam?
The Sealed Air recycled foams will offer performance equivalent to their non-recycled versions (i.e. Stratocell / Ethafoam). However, it is important to note that the design of your foam packaging / end caps will also play a significant role in the amount of protection provided.
Alternative Foam Options
Official Ethafoam, Stratocell and Plastazote® converters
Having been in the business of foam conversion for more than 25 years, GWP Protective are official suppliers of the full range of Sealed Air foams (along with a wide range of other packaging products).