The Replacement for Styrofoam Coolers Is Here, 100% Biodegradable

Bonus of Igloo’s Recool? No squeaking.

Recool is a biodegradable, affordable replacement for Styrofoam coolers.
Recool is a biodegradable, affordable replacement for Styrofoam coolers.

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There are a million things wrong with Styrofoam coolers. They’re horrible for the planet. They might take 1,000 years to decompose ”¦ or might never decompose. Styrofoam rivals glitter for the material you’re most likely to find bits of strewn around your house weeks after using it. They’re not recommended for reuse. They break. They squeak.

The only good thing is they’re cheap. That used to be a valid enough excuse to buy them, but no more. This week, the first legitimate, eco-friendly, affordable replacement for Styrofoam coolers was introduced. And best of all, it’s not coming from some wet-behind-the-ears startup or dubious Kickstarter. It’s coming from one of the most trusted names in coolers.

Meet the Igloo Recool, a 100% biodegradable, 100% guilt-free 16-quart cooler that’s just $10 apiece. Not only that, but according to the specs sheet it is strong enough to hold 75 pounds, retains ice for 12 hours and water up to five days, and is fully reusable. But when its life is over, it can be composted.

So that means they’re manufactured in some far-flung country, right? No way. These Bohemian beer carriers are made right here in the U.S.A. and thus fully Fourth of July appropriate.

Recool coolers can retain ice for 12 hours, hold up to 75 pounds and be reused. (Igloo)

How did they achieve it? The hard-sided construction is a combination of organic molded pulp and “AKD (Alkyl ketene dimer), a natural component that waxes and binds the paper pulp for stability and waterproofing.” And when you pick it up with the handles or set cans of your new favorite low-calorie beers in the lid’s molded cup holders — hear that? No squeaking.

As for the question of convenience, Igloo is rolling out the Recool in REI stores on May 1st with more stores set to carry them this summer. But if you find yourself picking up Styrofoam coolers at gas stations when you’re in a pinch and don’t see that stopping anytime soon, consider ordering a supply of these right now so it never comes to that.

Just a little bit of planning will help keep your crispy boys crisp and Styrofoam out of the landfill. Plus, you won’t have to expend any effort to make friends on the beach. It’ll happen automatically when they call from across the sand, “What’s up with that cooler?”

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