NEB has always placed environmental stewardship as one of our highest priorities – one of our goals has been to continuously improve our business processes in order to minimize our impact on the environment.
Cold chain shipping has long been a challenge from an environmental standpoint. Many of our products require shipment on ice or dry ice, and maintaining proper shipping temperature conditions is critical. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) has always been the gold standard – it is light, durable, and well-known for its insulative properties. Unfortunately, EPS is difficult to recycle and often makes its way to landfills. To address this, we have maintained a shipping box recycling programme for over 40 years – customers simply use the free return label and send their shipping box back to NEB for re-use. In the meantime, we continued to look for alternative, more sustainable solutions.
We are excited to announce that beginning December 2020, NEB UK will be transitioning from polystyrene shipping boxes to a more sustainable solution. Our new Eco-Boxes maintain the cold shipping temperature requirements needed to ship NEB products, but are either 100% recyclable (medium-sized box) or are recyclable with a compostable/biodegradable insert (large-sized box)
Medium Eco-Box: cardboard outer carton containing TemperPack®, ClimaCell® insulated box liners, made from plant-based materials features layers of paper and bio-based material.
Learn more at Temperpack.com
Large Eco-Box: cardboard outer carton containing a LANDBOX® HEMP insulating insert, 100% natural, without additives, disposal with organic waste.
Learn more at Landpack.de
Q. How are the Eco-Boxes made?
A. We are using two different sizes of Eco-Box. The larger box is a cardboard outer carton containing an insulating insert made from hemp. The medium Eco-Box is a cardboard outer carton with a paper-based insert. Both inserts fit tightly inside the shipping boxes.
Q. How are the Eco-Boxes recycled?
A. Both boxes and the paper-based insert are 100% recyclable, in the cardboard recycling stream. The hemp insert is compostable or will biodegrade in the normal waste stream. Recycling instructions are printed on the boxes.
Q. Do the Eco-Boxes keep product as cold as polystyrene shipping boxes?
A. Yes, both inserts were specifically designed for thermal protection. They were tested under varying shipping conditions and maintain proper temperature requirements for the delivery of NEB products.
Q. Will NEB still be using polystyrene shipping boxes?
A. Whilst we transition to the new Eco-Boxes and until we identify additional solutions, NEB will still rely on polystyrene shipping boxes for a portion of our products, including those that require shipment on dry ice (e.g. competent cells), as well as larger shipments. NEB UK also uses 100% paper-based envelopes to deliver 15% of orders at ambient temperature.
Q. Will NEB still maintain its shipping box recycling programme?
A. Yes, we will maintain the polystyrene shipping box recycling programme for any polystyrene shipping boxes in circulation. If you receive a polystyrene shipping box, you are welcome to use the free return label to send your box back to NEB, where we will arrange for its proper recycling.
Find out more about global and UK-specific NEB Sustainability Initiatives.