Israel is gaining a reputation for clean-tech innovation, and Yossef Heyman hopes
to make that a reality in yet another field – produce
“One-point-five billion packaging boxes are in use around the
world, mostly those made of wood, heavy plastic or cardboard,” Heyman, a 30-year
veteran of the packaging industry in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post this week
during an interview.
Wood and cardboard containers use up lots of trees,
while the plastic ones are heavy, Heyman pointed out.
“For every 5
kilograms of peppers that are transported, it’s about 300 grams of a
build the box for them],” he said. What’s more, wood and cardboard
no resale value as containers after their one-time use.
and his company have developed the Eco-Pack system. The idea is
simple: A lightweight plastic frame is fitted with two plastic sleeves.
frames come in standard sizes, but can also be produced to specific
for a bulk order, Heyman said.
The Eco-Pack system has a few advantages
over the competition, according to its creator.
First, it can be reused;
Heyman said his company would always be interested in repurchasing used
resell to other customers. Second, it can be totally recycled, as both
plastic frame and the sleeves can be remade into more Eco-Pack
containers or any
other plastic object. Third, because it doesn’t have sides, it takes up
significantly less space in cargo holds than other types of crates,
translates into significant savings on shipping costs, Heyman
Moreover, it costs less in terms of materials, energy and
water to produce since it is a frame and plastic sleeves instead of a
Replacing the sleeves also means the crate doesn’t need to be
washed. The sleeves can be customdesigned with a company’s logo and
Heyman said his products cost about the same as or less than
cardboard shipping boxes, depending on the quantity ordered.
model includes setting up partnerships in countries all over the world
produce the boxes, rather than making them in Israel and shipping them
The company has already set up subsidiaries in Italy, England and
Holland, and Heyman will travel to Cyprus later this week to set up
Next week, he’ll be in South Africa to set up the collection
center in Cape Town.
Heyman already has business relationships with 12
The company was formed two-and-a-half years ago, but
only recently completed testing and creating its business plan. So far,
Eco-Packs have been sold.
While interest around the world has been high,
Heyman admitted that getting companies to adopt a new product was not
“Some companies come back after trying some out, and some don’t. A
change in thinking is needed in order to embrace the Eco-Pack process,
companies are notoriously conservative,” he said.
Some modifications to
plants’ conveyor belts, from uncovered rollers to a belt system, are
needed, which means the company must appreciate the savings the product
bring in order to invest in its use, Heyman added.
As a sign of the
changing times and rising global environmental awareness, Heyman
invented the basic product 13 years ago, but had to shelve it for lack
“At that time, no one knew what to do with it, so I put it back
in the basement and revived it a few years ago,” he said