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Cool Solution: Biodegradable Cooler Keeps Food Cold and Dry

The ice chests we haul to picnics are typically made of Styrofoam, Dow Chemical’s trademarked name for extruded polystyrene, but it is a highly flammable source of greenhouse gases that animals can mistake for food and won’t degrade for hundreds of years, leading thousands of landfills to ban it. Now, Igloo, the top global cooler maker, has introduced a new, less-destructive alternative made out of paraffin wax and recycled tree pulp called Recool. The 16-quart, water-resistant cooler, sold at REI and other stores, keeps 75 pounds of contents ice-cold for up to 12 hours and goes up to five days without leaking water. The coolers can be stored and reused many times and then recycled, composted or used as a dry storage container. It’s also less likely to break or chip than Styrofoam.