A Jewellery Box Made from Maize?

This entry was posted June 28, 2018

The Classic Torino jewellery boxes have been a part of our product range since 1985, largely unaltered since then. Today, we can announce the exciting news we have in regard to this series: the box is now available in an eco-friendly version made from biodegradable plastic! Torino Bio is our first eco-friendly plastic box. Find the new Torino Bio box in our online shop.

“At Westpack, we strive to always do better. We have a lot of focus on eco-friendliness at the moment. This is reflected in our annual CSR-report and the many eco-friendly products we have in our range.” says our sales manager Henrik Hansen, who is very excited about the new eco box: a biodegradable plastic jewellery box, chiefly made from maize.

He continues: “We are aware of the increased interest in eco-friendly alternatives, both in the media but also from our customers. We, therefore, think it is time for a green alternative to the classic plastic jewellery packaging. We hope that our customers will like it.”


A Jewellery Box Made from Maize?

When ideas become reality

With more than 25 years of experience with injection moulding and a new degree as Plastics Processing Operator, another Henrik, last name Jensen, is responsible for the development of this brand-new concept. “Our world is facing huge problems with waste plastics.” he says, “It fills me with pride that the company I work for, wants to be the market leader in eco-friendly jewellery packaging.”

We have toyed with the idea of producing jewellery packaging in bioplastics for a while now. More and more customers request an eco-friendly alternative to the classic plastic boxes. During Henrik’s training last year, the idea became reality. Henrik says: “My teacher was positive about bioplastics, so I asked her for contact information for potential suppliers. I arranged a meeting with a supplier and launched ”Project eco-plastic box.”


A Jewellery Box Made from Maize?

Did you say maize?

Not all plastics are alike, just as not all bioplastics are the same. The combination of materials used needs to be suitable for the product that is created. A jewellery box, for instance, needs to have different product properties than a wrapper for bananas. Henrik received different materials in the 9 months after the project started, with which he experimented until he found the right combination of components.

“The first samples were made from pure PLA, a polymer derived from corn flour. Unfortunately, this material was too brittle to withstand the relatively rough process of injection moulding.” Henrik continues: “After that, we tried using a combination of PLA and PBAT, which is another biodegradable component. Playing with this combination, we eventually found the perfect blend of components.”


Long story short: Torino Bio jewellery boxes are chiefly composed of bioplastics derived from corn flour, with added biodegradable components. Even the pigments used to dye the box are fully biodegradable.


A Jewellery Box Made from Maize?

There IS a difference!

We aim to make the Torino Bio box look just like the original Torino box. There are, however, a few differences. The density of the Torino Bio boxes is 40 – 45% higher (read: it’s heavier) than the original box. The box is also slightly less deep black, but the difference is so small, you only notice it when you have the two varieties alongside each other. Henrik says: “The difference in density, makes the box a tad heavier, which almost gives the box a more luxurious touch. The eco-box is also stamped with our own eco-logo, so you can show your customers you make a green statement with your packaging. You simply must see this box in real life!”


And the price of this eco box? Because the raw materials used are more expensive and the production time is slightly longer, the Torino Bio series will cost a tad more than the original Torino boxes.


A Jewellery Box Made from Maize?

What is the decomposition time?

The very point of producing a box in bioplastic is of course that it needs to be compostable, or biodegradable. Just how long does it take for this box to decompose?

“In an industrial composting system, it takes 2-8 weeks for the box to be decomposed into water, biomass and CO2” Henrik explains and continues: “Our challenges lie in the thickness of the material as the material of a jewellery box typically is quite thick. Therefore, the decomposition takes longer than it would with, say, a plastic bottle.” The original plastic Torino box is not decomposable at all and can only be recycled by melting down the plastic and re-use this plastic for another purpose.


Is it edible?

No, the Torino Bio-boxes are not fit for consumption. The bioplastics used in the product are FDA approved. This means that you can, theoretically, store your lunch in the jewellery box. In practice, though, we do not recommend you use the box for food, as the Westpack machines and production process are not designed with making food packaging in mind and are not FDA approved. However, the boxes are the perfect box for your jewellery and are, of course, tarnish free.

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