EPS packaging keeps medication cool on long haul

Schaumaplast and EPS help emer­gency med­ical sup­plies from Ger­many reach a trav­eller in New Zealand

Brus­sels —Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, this time it’s EPS, or expand­ed poly­styrene, to the rescue.

With the start of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, peo­ple world­wide have faced many hur­dles, includ­ing restric­tions on every­thing from meet­ing friends to trav­el­ing. Some­times these restric­tions even lead to emer­gen­cies. And some­times EPS pro­vides an ide­al solu­tion.

About a year ago, a young Ger­man woman embarked upon a trip around the world. Depart­ing from Stuttgart, her first stop was New Zealand. The plan was to meet her par­ents there about two months after she arrived. But a cru­cial part of the plan was for the par­ents to bring their daugh­ter a med­i­cine that she needs to inject every two months due to a chron­ic skin dis­ease. With­out the med­i­cine, her joints would stiff­en. This spe­cial med­ica­tion couldn’t just be picked up at the phar­ma­cy “around the corner”—especially in rur­al New Zealand—but required spe­cial han­dling, includ­ing cold stor­age. For this rea­son, the young woman could not car­ry all the med­ica­tion she need­ed on her back­pack trip at once.

Then the pan­dem­ic made the par­ents’ trip impos­si­ble. They had to find anoth­er solu­tion to get the med­ica­tion to their daugh­ter. The moth­er of the young woman tried to find a solu­tion on the Inter­net and made a lot of futile calls. Not even their expen­sive trav­el insur­ance would pro­vide the fam­i­ly any sup­port. Even­tu­al­ly, she called Schaumaplast, a fam­i­ly-owned Ger­man com­pa­ny that devel­ops and pro­duces EPS pack­ag­ing for ship­ping tem­per­a­ture-sen­si­tive goods under its Ther­mo­con label. Schaumaplast imme­di­ate­ly vol­un­teered to offer a com­pli­men­ta­ry solu­tion involv­ing an EPS box and a cool­ing sys­tem that keeps prod­ucts chilled for up to 120 hours in a defined win­dow of plus two to plus eight degrees Celsius—just what was need­ed for her daugh­ter’s medication.

If find­ing the right pack­ag­ing was hard, get­ting the pack­age to her daugh­ter proved almost as dif­fi­cult. Its trip from Ger­many to New Zealand took it to the con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States, Hawaii and Aus­tralia first. Then, when it arrived in New Zealand, cus­toms for­mal­i­ties delayed the deliv­ery, putting its pre­cious car­go at risk. But this sto­ry ends hap­pi­ly because in the end, with the help of Schaumaplast’s EPS pack­ag­ing, the young back­pack­er received her med­ica­tion intact despite 7 days of tran­sit. Local media in Ger­many picked up the sto­ry and Andreas Sturm, a recent­ly elect­ed mem­ber of the region­al par­lia­ment where Schaumaplast is based, recog­nised that ‘the company’s prod­ucts safe lives’.

In fact, the young back­pack­er was just one of the many indi­vid­u­als that EPS has helped dur­ing these unique times. EPS is also the pack­ag­ing of choice for some of the world’s lead­ing COVID-19 vac­cines. Thanks to its excel­lent insu­la­tion and shock resis­tance EPS has lit­er­al­ly helped save thou­sands of lives.

Medicine shipment in EPS packaging
A pic­ture of the young Ger­man trav­eller receiv­ing her med­ica­tion and the EPS pack­age that got it to her safely. 
AuthorDaniel Costa
Date27 April 2021