Media coverage of the first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide has highlighted one of the key qualities of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam: its unparalleled thermal insulation properties.
In fact, several COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered worldwide exclusively in EPS foam boxes because of the need to maintain the vaccine at -70° Celsius for up to three days at a time between the pharmaceutical company and the hospital or doctor’s office where the vaccine will be distributed. The vaccines are packed in EPS containers, surrounded by dry ice. The EPS container is often inserted into cardboard shells for an additional layer of protection during transport.
Ultra-lightweight EPS, which is 98% air and fully recyclable, is the packaging of choice for many critical uses, from protecting expensive electronic appliances from shocks to ensuring that everything from vaccines and organ transplants to fresh fish are kept cool. EPS is also the primary shock absorber for bicycle helmets and is what makes many life vests float.
Here are just a few of the recent media stories we have seen that highlight the role of EPS packaging in the protection of COVID-19 vaccines in words or images: