The Greener Side of Shipping: Packaging Memory

recycle-OWC-300Memories are precious, so you want to keep them safe. That’s why you store photos in albums, keep old toys, and put that ceramic unicorn from your Great Aunt Beatrice on the top shelf so it’ll be safe from being knocked over by the kids (…or because you don’t have the heart to throw that hideous thing in the garbage, but at least this way it’s not at eye level).

Here at OWC, we want to keep our memory safe, too (albeit a different kind of memory), so we use packaging to ensure the safe shipment of our products to the customers who are waiting to love and care for them. But about four years ago, we began looking into a way to make this packaging not only protective but also “greener.”

Last month, we discussed OWC’s development of greener packaging for our hard drives. But in typical OWC fashion, we didn’t stop at just hard drives! We wanted reduce the amount of Polyurethane ESD Foam we used to cushion memory and small part orders as well. ESD Foam is the typical pink foam found in the packaging of many electronic devices. We first investigated alternatives such as Bio-Foam, but at that time it only promised a slight reduction in petroleum based oils used in the foam. So we continued our quest until we eventually found a solution – Green Cell Foam.

The Green Cell line of naturally biodegradable foam is produced from a premium-grade proprietary starch. Green Cell Foam provides effective product protection and offers an environmentally safe alternative to current synthetic foam products.

It’s easy to see why we fell in love with Green Cell Foam. I mean, look at all it has going for it! This strong and resilient product is also 100 percent environmentally safe. It’s lightweight, yet provides good first- and multiple-impact protection. It doesn’t want to brag, but it even meets standards for biodegradability set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It naturally behaves in an anti-static manner, which is perfect for ESD-sensitive products. Green Cell Foam has a high resistance to thermal fluctuation and can be disposed of by simply recycling, composting, or even dissolving in water. It also enjoys long walks on the beach, sharing ice cream cones and inside jokes, and is just looking for someone to understand where it is coming from.

But in all seriousness, once we found Green Cell Foam, we wanted to try it out. We began testing it in place of pink ESD Foam in the cushioning of our memory packaging and quickly found this was an excellent replacement for the ESD Foam. Because of this product, we have reduced our use of the petroleum-based foam dramatically. But if you know OWC, you know this – we will always continue our search for greener products to aid in the safe shipping of our products to our customers.


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