It’s more than just a cup – Sweden-based Wildo AB’s Fold-A-Cup has been officially classified as a work of art by Svensk Form Copyright Panel. And now, thanks to Hexpol TPE, who worked with the company to develop a biobased TPE for the cup, it’s a green work of art.
According to Klas Dannäs, global R&D coordinator at Hexpol TPE, the Scandinavian and Nordic countries have long fostered a culture of sustainability and ‘green’ thinking is not new, says “What we’re doing with the development of our biobased TPEs is creating new possibilities to achieve these goals.”
Wildo’s produced their first Fold-A-Cup and Camp-A-Box - functional, durable and lightweight outdoor utensils that can be used over and over again – some 35 years ago. Over time, and keeping the production in Sweden and working with selected suppliers, the company developed practices such as the recycling and re-use of boxes, well-designed packaging and short shipping distances.
Or, as Lena-Marie Johannisson, project manager at Wildo summarized, “With the outdoor as our platform we understand the importance of respecting the environment and surroundings around us. We need to make sure that we can enjoy our planet now and in the future.”
The company jumped at the opportunity to investigate the use of a bioplastics for their products. Hexpol TPE worked with Wildo on the development of a bespoke Dryflex Green TPE compound for their Fold-A-Cup product.
“We continue to trial new and emerging raw material combinations and further test the possibilities of Dryflex Green TPE compounds. We’ve found that as the requirements can vary greatly for each application, there is a need for highly customised formulations,” said Klas Dannäs. For the Fold-A-Cup product, the TPE compound needed to display the correct behaviour during repeated folding and opening of the cup. It needed to be flexible, yet rigid enough to withstand temperatures from hot or cold drinks, he said.
“We also needed to consider haptics and of course the raw materials we used had to be compliant with food contact.”
However, Johannisson pointed out, “Working for more sustainable material reducing the fossil recourses is not a luxury we can choose but a necessary way to go. Wildo has now started with a first step to a green choice, but there will be more to come.”