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Cruz Cool – TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023

Cruz Cool is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2023.

TIME featured 200 innovations this year in its annual list of the best inventions, and Cruz Cool is featured in the Reuse & Recycle category.

Cruz Cool is a curbside-recyclable cold-chain cooler from Cruz Foam, a circular materials company. This modern take on cold-chain packaging replaces traditional EPS foam coolers and is perfect for protecting temperature-sensitive products for up to 48 hours. Cruz Foam is made from chitin, a material derived from shrimp shells and sustainably sourced from naturally occurring waste streams in the seafood industry.

Whether it’s meal kits, fish packaging, or frozen-food packaging, it has the same temperature control performance as its non-sustainable predecessors. Cruz Foam, which forms the inner insulation layer of Cruz Cool, is home compostable, and the entire unit is certified through Western Michigan University (WMU) as curbside recyclable. The Cruz Foam is washed out and separated from the cardboard during the recycling process, eliminating any impact on the cardboard recovery.

To compile the Best Inventions list, TIME solicits nominations from its editors and correspondents around the world, and through an online application process, paying special attention to growing fields—such as AI, green energy, and sustainability. They then evaluate each contender on a number of key factors, including originality, efficacy, ambition, and impact.

Of the new list, TIME’s editors wrote: “The result is a list of 200 groundbreaking inventions (and 50 special mention inventions)—including the world’s most powerful supercomputer, a game-changing entertainment venue, and a new shape—that are changing how we live, work, play, and think about what’s possible.”

“We are incredibly honored to be included on the TIME list of the Best Inventions of 2023 for our Cruz Cool cold-chain solution,” said John Felts, CEO and Co-Founder of Cruz Foam. “Our beverage, seafood, and specialty-foods customers have chosen our product for its performance, brand-enhancing design, and momentum in meeting their ESG goals. We look forward to continuing our mission to bring innovative, regenerative products to market that support customer needs and enable a healthier planet.”

In February of this year, Cruz Foam announced its exclusive sales partnership with Atlantic Packaging, the largest privately held packaging company in North America with a focus on technical and sustainable solutions, to bring Cruz Cool and other innovative products from the company to market. Cruz Cool is available through the Atlantic Packaging sales team and directly via the New Earth Approved Catalog.

“At Atlantic Packaging, we are dedicated to activating life-affirming packaging technologies in order to create a healthier supply chain,” said Wes Carter, President of Atlantic Packaging and Founder of A New Earth Project. “Our strategic partnership with Cruz Foam has exemplified this commitment, and we are incredibly proud to help bring the Cruz Cool cold-chain shipping system to market. It is the culmination of several years of inspired collaboration between two very innovative and passionate organizations. And there is so much more to come!”

Atlantic Packaging’s data-driven approach to packaging testing allows us to validate cold-chain packaging, such as Cruz Cool, for transit. The Packaging Solution Center’s environmental-testing chamber conditions products and packaging to varying temperatures and replicates any humidity level. Atlantic’s cold-chain packaging testing is preformed in accordance with the International Safe Transit Association’s 7-Series Development Tests. Sensors determine insulated values, product temperatures, and cooler temperatures to make sure food safety standards are being met.

Atlantic Packaging and Cruz Foam are uniquely aligned in their mission to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable supply chain.

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