Packager develops recyclable corrugated cooler

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

Packaging company DS Smith, working with Vig Pak, has developed a 100% recyclable, biodegradable cooler to be an alternative to the Styrofoam cooler.

Called Brrr Box, the cooler uses a proprietary Greencoat corrugated moisture-resistant material to coat the corrugated cooler. The material is safe when coming in contact with food — first being used by suppliers as a way to transport poultry along the supply chain. The Greencoat corrugated material is made of sustainable and renewable fiber that reduces waste to landfills and carbon emissions.

Atlanta-based DS Smith said the coolers are available to retailers for private label, for those retailers looking to replace any branded Styrofoam coolers they may sell. The coolers would also carry the Brrr Box logo to reinforce its eco-friendly promise. 

“Greencoat was launched 13 years ago as a revolutionary product created to survive the harsh poultry shipping supply chain and has since been adopted by a number of other markets. Brrr Box is a natural extension of the product line that’s ideal for consumers looking for an eco-friendly, durable way to transport ice and cold beverages without the negative impact of Styrofoam,” said Melanie Galloway, sales, marketing and innovation director at DS Smith Packaging North America.

The company said Brr Box is being used by a major U.S. convenience store chain to replace Styrofoam coolers currently. “The chain was looking for a disposable cooler that performed as well as Styrofoam, first and foremost,” said Ed Battle, president and co-founder of Brrr Box. “They are also conscious of precious floor space in stores, and Brrr Box is shipped and displayed flat, so they can carry more inventory in a much smaller footprint. And, frankly, they wanted an environmentally friendly alternative as well. Brrr Box is the only product that does that.”

The cooler isn’t a single-use cooler, despite its recyclability, and opens and closes with one hand. It holds a dozen 12-ounce beverages and 10 pounds of ice.

“It’s a multi-use cooler if treated properly,” Battle said. “And the best part is instead of those Styrofoam coolers going back into the waste stream, this goes back into the circular economy and is fully curbside recyclable.”

DS Smith’s Greencoat material uses a patented process applied in-house that combines impregnation and coating on the paper to provide durability and long-lasting moisture protection and temperature resistance.

DS Smith is a leader in corrugated packaging, developing sustainable packaging solutions, and has 13 manufacturing, paper and recycling facilities. By the year 2030, the company aims to use packaging and recycling to replace problem plastics, reduce customer carbon and eliminate consumer packaging waste.