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Lowering the environmental impact of fresh fish logistics

Project description

Sustainable, eco-friendly packaging for fresh fish

The fish industry distributes a massive 6.3 million tonnes of fish around Europe yearly, packaged inside expanded polystyrene boxes to maintain freshness and avoid spoilage. These boxes, however, pose a major environmental threat, being manufactured from fossil fuels and being single-use. Despite recognition of this issue, current alternatives are either lacking in performance or cost, making them unsuited to the task. The EU-funded Cool Wool Box project proposes an ecological alternative, an insulating cardboard box that’s biodegradable, light, strong, waterproof, and uses integrated discarded or regenerated wool, thus following a zero-waste circular economy production model. This solution also provides increased insulation capacity while maintaining a lower carbon footprint and costs.


Each year around 6.3 million tons of fish are distributed around Europe. Maintaining the cold chain during distribution is critical to avoid spoilage and guarantee freshness, ensuring the highest quality fish is delivered. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) boxes are usually used with this purpose. However, they are a major threat to the environment, since they are manufactured from fossil fuels and are used as single-use disposable packaging, having thus a high carbon footprint. Moreover, due to the low recycling rate of EPS, most of these boxes end up in landfills, contributing to the vast amounts of plastic waste generated.
An increasingly stringent regulation on plastic waste (including the possibility of EU policies limiting EPS use), and a growing demand from consumers for sustainable practices are driving fish producers to look for plastic-free eco-friendly packaging alternatives. However, currently available options on the market still fail either on performance or cost.
Cool Wool ehf was founded in 2017 with the aim of developing the Cool Wool box: an insulating box for the fishing industry that will lower the environmental impact of its supply chain. Cool Wool box is an eco-friendly, biodegradable, light and strong waterproof cardboard box with integrated wool layers coming from discarded wool from the farm sector or regenerated wool from the textile industry. In this way, Cool Wool Box (which will be produced following a zero-waste circular economy production model) grants a superior insulation capacity to state-of-the-art solutions, while having a low carbon footprint and cutting down packaging, transport, and disposal costs.
This project will allow our company to transition from pre-revenue to profitable business in just two years of commercialization, growing our team to 13 people. Moreover, it will contribute to our vision of leading the way towards a more sustainable future by developing eco-friendly thermal packaging solutions.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Ísland Ísland Höfuðborgarsvæði
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00