A Cooler Alternative to Polystyrene


The Recycooler is made from 60 percent post-consumer materials. Photo: Recycooler

You’re headed to the big game, giving yourself ample time to tailgate. You decide to stop at the local convenience store for some brews, but realize you forgot your cooler.

Until now, your only option was to compromise and buy a cheap, wasteful, less-than-durable polystyrene cooler or sip on warm beer in the beating sunlight, but the Recycooler is out to provide a sustainable option for on-the-go refreshments.

Polystyrene is only recyclable in certain places and typically not accepted in multi-material recycling bins. Unlike other plastics, polystyrene requires a separate recycling stream. Though it’s lightweight, polystyrene takes up volume in landfills if not properly recycled.

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The Recycooler, alternatively, is made from a minimum of 60 percent post-consumer recycled materials and is 100 percent recyclable, making it a less impactful alternative to one-time-use foam coolers. The cooler, printed with soy ink, can be reused a few times or recycled in any bin that accepts cardboard. It’s  with water-resistant materials to prevent damage. The company argues that if you “take care of your Recycooler” (In other words, don’t beat it up,) it will last for a long period of time.

Using cellulose insulation, the Recycooler keeps cold foods cold and hot foods hot. The six, 12 and 24 pack customizable cooler is widely available online and in Whole Foods, Kroger, Publix and Earthfare grocery stores and continues to expand to new locations.

Of course, durable insulated coolers, many of which seem to last forever, are still the eco-friendlier option.

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