Correct disposal of our ice packs

Ice pack disposal is fast becoming a focal point for customers and end users who receive their chilled orders with ice packs as the coolant. As awareness grows of the potential eco impact of other types of coolants (such as dry ice), ice packs are becoming more and more popular, but it’s important that the end recipients know how to dispose of them properly.

We can’t speak for everyone else’s ice packs, but when it comes to ours, the following guidelines apply:

Water Ice Packs

Our water ice packs are the most eco friendly in our range; they’re food contact safe, contain nothing except water and are so pure that we can provide a full cleanliness and safety certification for every order leaving our factory.

Why is this? It’s because we send quality-controlled samples of each production run to an independent lab who undertake microbiological testing. All water ice packs in our factory must pass QC processes including chlorination, softening and UV treatment.

Water ice pack disposal

  • The contents of our water ice packs can be poured safely away down the drain with any other household water – or indeed, it can be used to water plants or animals, if you prefer.
  • The ice pack outer film can be recycled at specialist LDPE recycling plants. Please check with your local council for more details, and there are many supermarkets with plastic bag collection points – you can add the ice pack outer shells there, too.

Gel Ice Packs (Hydropac® range)

Our Gel Ice Packs are filled with a non-toxic polymer solution that has been through multiple quality control processes in order to ensure it is food contact safe. This includes UV sterilisation, softening, 3 stage filtration and chlorination.

Like our water ice packs, the gel packs must pass checks at an independent laboratory to ensure they are clean and pure; each gel ice pack leaving our factory has a full cleanliness and safety certificate.

Gel ice pack disposal

  • The contents of our gel ice packs cannot be poured away down the drain, so it is best to pour this into the general waste bin.
  • The ice pack itself is made of the same material as water ice packs and can be recycled at specialist LDPE recycling plants or supermarket plastic bag recycling points. Please check with your local council for more details.
  • One great idea for our gel ice packs is to reuse them – we have many reuse ideas, including as ice packs for injuries, picnics or food shopping and cooling yourself or your pets down in the hot months – see more here: https://hydropac.co.uk/reusing-our-ice-packs-for-the-added-chill-factor/

Pre-Frozen Ice Packs

Our pre-frozen ice packs are available in both water and gel form, and are the same as our water and gel packs as above, they’re just set already frozen for convenience.

Gel Ice Packs (Pharmapac® range)

The Gel Ice Packs in our Pharmapac range are different to those in our Hydropac range. This is because they are specialist ice packs for use with shipping pharmaceutical and medical products, which have different requirements for frozen delivery that foodstuffs. They maximise the duration on latent energy transfer as they are filled to capacity.

Pharmapac® 750g gel ice packs use pure filtered water that has been UV treated, alongside a gel formula for that additional chill factor.

Pharmapac® Gel ice pack disposal

  • The contents of our Pharmapac® gel ice packs cannot be poured away down the drain, so it is best to pour this into the general waste bin.
  • In terms of disposing of the outer film, this can be recycled at specialist LDPE recycling plants or in supermarket plastic bag recycling points.

HydroFreeze™ Ice Packs

HydroFreeze™ Ice Packs are our revolutionary safe alternative ice packs to using dry ice – they contain a unique, non-hazardous/non-toxic gel formula that is designed to hold frozen goods at -21°C or colder for a minimum of 24 hours, although testing has shown they can keep goods at lower than this for longer periods of time.

  • -30C for at least 36 hours
  • -35C for at least 24 hours
  • -40C for at least 18 hours
  • -45C for minimum of 12 hours

HydroFreeze Gel ice pack disposal

  • We strongly recommend reusing HydroFreeze™ ice packs – they can be reused multiple times as long as they are undamaged.
  • If the end user prefers to dispose of them, then the gel inside HydroFreeze packs can be safely poured away down the drain with normal household grey waste. It is important that they are flushed with running water but will not block drains or affect aquatic life or wastewater treatment plant processes.
  • The outer casings are made of LDPE #4 plastic and need to be recycled with like materials.

EasiFreeze™ Ice Packs

Like HydroFreeze™, EasiFreeze™ Ice Packs are a safe alternative to dry ice – they are the latest in this range and are designed to freeze down faster than the HydroFreeze™ packs, making them a convenient solution when speed is of the essence.

Like HydroFreeze, the contents are non-toxic, non-hazardous and completely food contact safe. They are designed to hold frozen goods at – 16 for a minimum of 24 hours, but can achieve much more than this:

  • -25C for at least 48 hours
  • -30C for at least 24 hours
  • -35C for at least 18 hours
  • -40C for at least 12 hours
  • -45C for at least 8 hours

EasiFreeze Gel ice pack disposal

  • The same applies to EasiFreeze™ as HydroFreeze™ – We strongly recommend reusing them, but if the end user prefers to dispose of them, then the gel inside can be safely poured away down the drain with normal household grey waste. It is important that they are flushed with running water but will not block drains or affect aquatic life or wastewater treatment plant processes.
  • The outer casings are made of LDPE #4 plastic and need to be recycled with like materials – most supermarkets accept these with their plastic bag collections.
Written by:

Rebecca

Hailstone

Knowledgebase Pharmaceutical Shipping branche