Igloo ditches styrofoam coolers for biodegradable alternative

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva


US-based company Igloo began in 1947 as a metalworking shop that produced metal water coolers and had since been offering coolers for generations. After 75 years, the company is ditching its styrofoam coolers for a more biodegradable alternative made from paraffin wax and recycled paper.

Dubbed Recool, the 15-litre cooler has a capacity of 34kg and is highly water-resistant. The company claims the material can keep ice cold for up to 12 hours and water for up to five days without leaking. 

Styrofoam coolers are popular because its lightweight, cheap, and good at keeping beverages cold. Unfortunately, they’re also pretty bad for the environment. Also known as extruded polystyrene, the material is a major source of greenhouse gas, doesn’t degrade for centuries, and is highly flammable. 

The Recool coolers can be stored and reused multiple times (Igloo didn’t indicate the maximum number of uses), and once they reach their end-of-life, they can be reused as a storage tote, recycled, and even composted.

Compared to a traditional styrofoam cooler, the company claims Recool doesn’t break or chip if bumped or dropped. Ry Crist from CNet tested the material and found that it could hold a 4.4-degree Celcius temperature for 15 hours before warming up. 

Igloo’s Recool is available in retail outlets in the US for $10.

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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