New packaging alert!

Oct 17 2023

Replacing plastics with sheep wool

Our Specialty Pharmaceuticals business, Bova, now reduce 65% of plastics in packaging, while saving 45% of packaging costs. 

After months of testing and quality assurance the Bova team can switch 2000+ polystyrene cool chain boxes for WoolCool packaging for its temperature-sensitive products. This will result in a 65% reduction in polystyrene consumption and will reduce the negative environmental impact the material has, while making value out of waste-wool from sheep. Simultaneously, saving 45% of packaging costs.

"We are thrilled to announce that this marks the beginning of an exciting journey for Bova. This is just one of the many projects we are currently working on. We have received positive feedback from our customers who are very pleased with this change". States Lizzie Barnard, part of Vimian’s Sustainability team and Head of Marketing at Bova.

Reducing harmful plastics use for temperature-sensitive products

Polystyrene is a widely used plastic material for packaging, especially for food and pharmaceutical products that require insulation and protection. However, polystyrene also poses several environmental challenges, such as:

  • It is made from non-renewable fossil fuels and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It is not biodegradable and can take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose in landfills.
  • It is a major source of marine litter and can harm wildlife that ingest or get entangled in it.
  • It can leach harmful chemicals into food and drinks, affecting human health and reproductive systems.

Repurposing sheep wool – from waste to value and cost stavings

WoolCool packaging, on the other hand, is a sustainable alternative that uses 100% pure wool as the insulation material. Wool is a natural, renewable and biodegradable resource that has excellent thermal properties. WoolCool packaging offers several benefits over polystyrene, such as:

  • It is made from sheep wool that would otherwise go to waste, reducing the demand for virgin materials.
  • It is compostable and can be returned to the soil, enriching it with nutrients.
  • It is lightweight and compact, reducing the transport and logistics costs and carbon footprint.
  • It is effective and reliable, keeping the products chilled for up to 48 hours.
  • It is safe and hygienic, preventing moisture and condensation and minimizing the risk of contamination.

In addition, for each package that exchange polystyrene for sheep wool will save the Bova team 45% of costs. 

The aim is to reduce polystyrene by 100%

The testing done until now shows that WoolCool packaging can keep temperatures stable for up to 24 hours, when delivery cannot be guaranteed within the time range e.g., to Scotland and international, Bova still needs to use polystyrene to guarantee the quality of the product once it arrives. Currently the Bova team is working on validating the cool boxes with wool for longer shipments. 

By switching to WoolCool packaging, Bova has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability and innovation. The team has not only reduced its negative environmental impact, but also improved its customer satisfaction and brand reputation. Bova hopes to inspire other businesses to follow its example and adopt more eco-friendly packaging solutions.

Learn more about Bova.

Get to know WoolCool

If you have questions do not hesitate to reach out to leading this project or Vimian's Sustainability Manager