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Unique Features: biodegradable, holds 20 cans, keeps ice cold for 12 hours
Upshot: Igloo, the maker of the iconic Sportsman cooler, wants to eliminate single-use styrofoam coolers by creating one that’s reusable and completely biodegradable. The Recool holds 20 cans and keeps ice frozen for 12 hours.
Who It’s For: Everyone who can’t afford a Yeti.
Insight: Styrofoam sucks. It’s an abomination that plagues our oceans and waterways. It doesn’t break down, and it isn’t recyclable. But it’s cheap, and that’s why companies use it to make the single-use coolers that are so easily found at grocery stores and gas stations.
It’s admirable that Igloo is putting effort into replacing these coolers with something that’s easier on the environment and just as effective. It should also be noted that a growing coalition of cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and more are putting in place bans on styrofoam, so Igloo has business opportunities here too. The success of the Recool at replacing single-use coolers will be a result of one crucial question: how much will it cost?
Update: The Recool will cost $10. Styrofoam coolers of similar size can cost as little as $3, so this is indeed a pricer alternative, but it’s still far more affordable than multi-use coolers made of plastic and other materials.