Substitute Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in home appliances packaging with a sustainable cushioning material
Haier Open Partnership Ecosystem (HOPE), is seeking for sustainable cushioning materials to substitute EPS in home appliances packaging. Home appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, air-con systems, and built-in ovens are often large, heavy and cosmetic, with an expectation to be delivered to our customers in perfect condition. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a very effective protection packaging material that we use in our current packaging solutions. It has superior cost and cushioning performance attributes but does not meet our sustainability brand values.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a versatile material with unique cushioning and lightweight properties, providing complete protection and safety while goods are in transit. The sustainable alternative material should meet the following requirements:
- Matching or ideally exceeding EPS properties. For reference, the density of EPS is around 25-40 kg/cubic meter with good cushioning ability.
- High static and dynamic compressive strength (able to withstand repeated impact and have high shock absorption)
- Remains dimensionally stable during global distribution (e.g. thermal stability up to 70°C/160°F and long shelf life)
- Low water vapour transmission rate (WVTR)
- Made from renewable raw materials that are responsibly sourced
- Easily and widely recycled globally and minimises waste to landfill
- Commercially or home compostable
- Low impact on greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and energy use during the manufacturing and end-of-life (EOL) processes
- Economic viability and stable supply:
- Proposed material is affordable and easily scalable for mass production, meaning it can satisfy potential demand and compete with EPS material on price
- New material should be compatible with existing EPS manufacturing equipment
- Wide and stable source of the sustainable material
- Commercial readiness:
- The new packaging material should have a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 7 to 9
- The objective of this innovation call is to find partners who are developing sustainable cushioning materials to replace EPS. Partners should either have developed the sustainable cushioning material that keeps appliances well protected during transport and storage or have deep knowledge in research and development of sustainable materials and have capabilities to extend the applications for heavy and cosmetic home appliances packaging.
- Fisher & Paykel Appliances (FPA), one of the premium brands of Haier Group, is leading the sustainable packaging initiative and is willing to offer the direct application knowledge in the whiteware industry, as well as a supply opportunity that has immense global scale possibilities.
Sustainability Open Innovation Challenge - Enterprise
Proposal submissions are open from 24 Nov 2020 to 5 Mar 2021