Innovative, GDP-Compliant Natural Packaging for the Pharma and Life Sciences Industry: Ecological, Reliable, and Sustainable28.09.2022 | by Miriam Graf
Whether it’s life-saving medications, organic substances, or essential test kits, pharmaceutical and life science products demand precision and adherence to the strict Good Distribution Practices (GDP) regulations. Thea Hintermeier, biotechnologist and Head of Operations & Sales at Landpack, sheds light on the art of effectively cooling and safely shipping highly sensitive medical products in an environmentally conscious manner.
What are the challenges in shipping temperature sensitive pharma and life science products?
Pharmaceutical and life science products play a crucial role in saving lives. To guarantee their quality they must comply with the European guidelines for Good Distribution Practices (GDP), which uphold the highest standards throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain. A critical component of this compliance is maintaining the correct temperature range at all stages of transportation. Currently, many of these products are shipped in Styrofoam packaging, which, despite occasional reuse, contributes significantly to environmental degradation due to its production from finite crude oil resources.
How can the Landbox be used in areas of pharma and life science industries?
Meet the Landbox, an eco-conscious solution developed by us. It represents a groundbreaking shift towards sustainable insulation packaging, matching the performance of Styrofoam while being crafted from renewable resources like straw and hemp. Yet, the Landbox offers even more advantages: its inherent moisture-regulating and shock-absorbing properties make it ideal for shipping temperature-sensitive medications and life science products, such as reagents, enzymes, and assay kits, all while maintaining GDP compliance. When no longer needed, the Landbox can be disposed of in organic waste bins, contributing significantly to reducing plastic waste.
What temperature ranges are covered by the Landbox?
Adhering to the precise temperature requirements outlined in EU GDP guidelines for pharmaceutical products is non-negotiable. This applies especially to life science products like enzymes, which are highly temperature-sensitive and must arrive at laboratories in perfect condition. Our insulation packages have already received pre-certification for three critical temperature ranges: frozen (< -20°C), cool (2-8°C), and ambient (15-25°C). We excel in developing and validating customized packaging solutions that align with international cooling logistics standards (e.g., AFNOR or ISTA). Our expertise, gained through over a hundred cooling tests, ensures results you can depend on.
How does the validation process work for non-standard customer requests?
For customers with requirements that vary from industry standards, we offer tailor-made, validated packaging solutions. These customized solutions undergo rigorous testing in our state-of-the-art climate chamber, which can simulate complex cooling conditions ranging from -30°C to 200°C. As a result, you receive a comprehensive test protocol and a certificate containing packaging recommendations.
How can the purity of the Landbox be ensured?
Maintaining the highest hygiene and quality standards is integral to our Landbox production process. We exclusively employ pure, food-grade straw, subjecting it to rigorous dusting, cleaning, and disinfection measures. Our production adheres to stringent international packaging standards, including DIN EN 15593, GMP-Verordnung (EG) Nr. 2023/2006, and (EG) Nr. 1935/2004. Continuous microbiological testing, conducted by both our in-house facilities and independent laboratories, guarantees compliance with microbiological thresholds.
What has to be taken into consideration when packing the Landbox?
Optimizing the cooling performance of the Landbox relies on several factors, including outside temperatures, the quantity of gel packs, the temperature of the goods, internal volume, and goods composition within the Landbox. Achieving the ideal packing configuration, particularly within the ‘cool’ temperature range (2-8°C), may vary from season to season. Our customers receive season-specific packing recommendations, validated in our climate chambers.
In general, compressing the panels tightly enhances insulation, maintaining consistent product temperatures. Minimizing the free space within the cooled compartment is also crucial. Our top panel’s adjustability allows for this space reduction by simply pushing it down. An additional key factor is ensuring the cooling elements are completely frozen, which can take up to three days in standard freezers.
How eco-friendly is the Landbox?
The Landbox promotes sustainability across its entire lifecycle, from sourcing natural resources to waste management. The use of straw, a byproduct of crop harvest, minimizes waste and aligns with local production. With transportation distances under 10 kilometers, we ensure full transparency and eco-friendliness within our supply chain. Our production process prioritizes energy efficiency, consuming only 1/50th of the primary energy required for Styrofoam. Water usage is equally efficient, at just 1.5% compared to paper.
We are also extremely proud to say that our insulation packages contain no additional additives, allowing them to be disposed of in organic waste bins, ultimately contributing to biogas production and serving as a green energy and heat source.
Can the Landbox be shipped internationally?
Absolutely! The Landbox is internationally deployable, meeting the needs of our life sciences customers who rely exclusively on it for global refrigerated shipments. Products like reagents, enzymes, and assay kits reach over 170 countries within a remarkable 72-hour delivery window. A prime example is our esteemed customer, QIAGEN, which utilizes Landbox straw for shipping its products to 177 countries. For more information go here. Notably, the Landbox is landfill-friendly, decomposing naturally without releasing harmful gasses during incineration.