A UK government-funded initiative is backing research and development of an innovative sheep's wool packaging for pharmaceuticals to help combat the global problem of more than 50 percent wastage in vaccines, as reported by the World Health Organisation. The Wool Packaging Company Ltd., based in Shropshire, has been awarded a six figure grant by the Technology Strategy Board to focus on a specialised pharmaceuticals version of its award winning Woolcool insulated packaging to protect temperature sensitive vaccines in transit.
Woolcool insulated packaging has already been proven to maintain stable internal temperatures between 2°C and 8°C in excess of 72 hours, more effectively than other packaging including polystyrene cartons, polyethylene foam or air pocket products. The felted wool insulation also provides more effective cushioning protection for fragile contents, such as vaccine vials. These two factors alone, demonstrate how important the grant to further research and develop the concept could prove in tackling the challenges of distributing vaccines so they arrive in a fit condition for use.
As an additional advantage, Woolcool packaging products are an entirely sustainable solution because sheep's wool is a naturally effective insulation which is available in abundance worldwide. Sheep's wool is also compostable and other elements of the Woolcool packaging are recycled or recyclable.
Woolcool was originally designed for the food sector, to provide sustainable insulated packaging for the direct delivery of fresh and frozen foods. Since its launch in 2009, Woolcool has gone from strength to strength and The Wool Packaging Co. now supplies diverse food retailers nationwide, from Abel & Cole to Fortnum and Mason. The product range includes Woolcool insulated courier boxes, Woolcool insulated pouches and Woolmail insulated envelopes. More information regarding Woolcool is available by clicking here.
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation.