Eco-fish box (RD129)


This project aims to develop the Eco-fish Box - a biobased foam thermal insulation packaging as a pioneering approach to local delivery and e-commerce supply of chilled fish and seafood.

Funding Amount:


Duration of Project:

18 months

Project Outcome:

The Eco-fish Box (EfB) project, led by Emagine Packaging Ltd., aims to design and develop biofoam thermal insulation packaging as a pioneering approach to e-commerce home delivery of chilled fish and seafood – an alternative to EPS boxes which are predominantly used.

Following development of a compostable biofoam prototype with thermal insulation properties comparable to EPS, Bangor University’s Biocomposites Centre intends further research to develop technology permitting production of larger box sizes typically used by e-fisheries. A main output of the project is a ground-breaking (bio)plastic tray-corrugated fibreboard box system assembly with novel design features creating air cavities which, together with ice or gel packs, maintain chill temperatures of fish contained within a lidded tray. According to initial thermal testing by the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at the University of Greenwich, the EfB prototype – which can be made from either biobased bioplastics or recyclable plastics – has potential to at least match that of EPS boxes.

Storage trials of EfB prototypes and commercial fish boxes were conducted by NRI using temperature-controlled chambers at East Malling Research. NRI’s findings regarding thermal performance are supported by several field trials using commercial size EfB boxes (utilising a PET tray system) conducted with e-fisheries located in the South-East and South-West of England. EfB features a reusable fish tray permitting direct transfer from box to fridge or freezer for convenient storage. Also, tear-apart perforations facilitate tray disposal for composting or, in the case of a readily recyclable plastics option, recycling. EfB’s corrugated outer is readily recyclable.

STATUS: Completed

Project Lead

Emagine Packaging Ltd.