Today cold chain transportation has become more important than before, as countries rely on cold chain logistics to store and transport SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and other temperature-sensitive goods. The cold chain is usually associated with the use of non-renewable materials and higher energy consumption than the regular supply chain. An important part of cold chain sustainability is thermal packaging. Up to now one of the most popular thermal packaging materials is polystyrene – made from fossil raw material. Polystyrene has low thermal conductivity and density, but it breaks down into micro- and nano plastics when exposed to sunlight making it environmentally unsustainable. To determine which factors are important for cold chain regarding thermal packaging, 12 criteria were compared to determine their ranking. Further multi-criteria analysis was used to compare polystyrene to four alternative biodegradable thermal packaging options: mycelium-based, corn starch, non-woven wool, and non-woven feathers. Polystyrene gained only 3rd place with a 0.70 proximity to ideal solution 1, but non-woven wool showed the best result with 0.88 proximity to ideal solution.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other