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Trade News  |  March 3, 2021

Joint News Release


“Green” box with double the benefits

  • Logistics company Unitax uses Schaumaplast cold-chain packaging made from BASF's biomass-balanced Styropor® BMB in COVID-19 vaccine logistics
  • Safe, well cooled and resource saving: Proven properties of Styropor®, the expandable polystyrene (EPS) from BASF, remain preserved

Ludwigshafen, Reilingen and Berlin, March 3, 2021 - Hospitals, care homes, and vaccination centres throughout the German state of Brandenburg have been eagerly awaiting deliveries from Unitax in recent weeks. The experienced pharmaceutical logistics company is distributing the coronavirus vaccine exclusively on behalf of the state government. In addition to strict compliance with all requirements for the storage and transport of this sensitive cargo, the sustainability of the processes is also important to the Berlin company. For all of these aspects, Unitax relies on its cooperation with the Schaumaplast Group and BASF.

Under the name Thermocon, Schaumaplast develops and produces passive—i.e. non-electric—cooling systems for the pharmaceutical industry. The lightweight thermal boxes can be fitted with special cooling elements for almost any temperature range and for different volumes. This flexibility in terms of size and cooling range is becoming ever more important in coronavirus vaccine logistics, as vaccines in temperature ranges of minus 70°C, minus 15°C to minus 25°C, and plus 2°C to plus 8°C increasingly have to be delivered at the same time.

“Together with our customer Unitax, we can leverage the strengths of active and passive refrigerated transport. With its electrically powered refrigeration units in the vehicle and our passive cooling systems, Unitax is able to combine multiple temperature ranges for different types of vaccine on each vehicle. This ensures constant and reliable conditions for the vaccines at every stage of transport,” explains Toni Küttner, Managing Director of Schaumaplast Sachsen GmbH in Nossen in the German state of Saxony. The town is home to one of several Schaumaplast plants that produce specified and specialist cooling packaging for each customer, including the “flagship” product—the Pallet Transporter. This container can hold a completely packaged and preconditioned Euro pallet and reliably cool the temperature-sensitive goods for more than five days in some cases.

Sustainability aspects play a major role for Unitax Managing Director André Reich, who has also been using electric vans in the company fleet since 2017: “We can optimise and therefore also reduce our trips thanks to the various cooling systems. This makes financial sense and is good for the environment. Schaumaplast also offers another convincing advantage in this regard: The company provides packaging made from alternative raw materials but with the same high-quality properties of conventional plastic solutions. This ‘green’ box fits our corporate philosophy and has double the benefits, so to speak—with its reliably refrigerated content and its housing.”

The boxes are made of biomass-balanced Styropor® from BASF and have an improved environmental profile. “We are the first processor of this sustainable material in the packaging sector to be certified by the German technical inspection authority, TÜV,” states Markus Hoffmann, Managing Director of the Schaumaplast Group. BASF replaces fossil raw materials with renewable resources, such as bio-naphtha or biogas. These products, which are derived from organic waste or waste vegetable oils, are used in the BASF Production Verbund at the start of the manufacturing process. The biomass-balanced share is arithmetically allocated to the end products such as Styropor® Biomass Balance (BMB) via a certified process. “Styropor® BMB is one of our company’s two new, mass-balanced, resource-efficient Styropor developments. We are therefore not only ensuring the optimal insulating properties of the cooler boxes, but also helping to reduce the carbon footprint of our products. Moreover, fossil raw materials such as naphtha and natural gas can now be replaced with mixed plastic waste that has been chemically treated. This also benefits the environment,” says Klaus Ries, head of BASF’s Styrenics business in Europe.


About BASF

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 110,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €59 billion in 2020. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at and


About Schaumaplast

The Schaumaplast Group is a medium-sized family company headquartered in Reilingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The company produces technical mouldings made of particle foams such as Styropor and EPP at five production sites in Germany, Poland, and the USA. A separate business area of the Schaumaplast Group develops, qualifies, and produces thermal packaging under the trade name Thermocon for the pharmaceuticals industry. A wide variety of temperature-sensitive products are transported in the Thermocon systems, ranging from coronavirus test kits, organs, and cancer drugs to animal semen.

Further information at: and


About Unitax

Unitax-Pharmalogistik GmbH has been implementing the entire logistics chain for manufacturers and wholesalers of medicines and medical products for decades. Founded in 1991, the company has a logistics terminal at its Berlin-Schönefeld location offering 20,000 square metres of warehouse and logistics space for sensitive pharmaceutical products; 10,000 square metres each are available at Großbeeren/GVZ Berlin-Süd and Nuremberg Freight Village (GVZ). Unitax is also a founding member of GDP network solutions, a nationwide general cargo network specifically for medicines and medical products. From now on, Unitax offers transports that comply with good distribution practice (GDP) standards as well as numerous certified value-added services for network partners and their customers.

Further information at:


BASF Media contact:            Schaumaplast Media contact:           Unitax Media contact:

Sven Heppes                         Ina Reichel                                         Martina Nehls

Phone: +49 621 60 58772     Phone: +49 172 6029478                  Phone: +49 177 3630471         


Thermocon-Impfstoffboxen aus Styropor® BMB haben ein verbessertes Umweltprofil.    Thermocon vaccine boxes made from Styropor® BMB have an improved environmental profile   Copyright: Schaumaplast

Thermocon vaccine boxes made from Styropor® BMB have an improved environmental profile

Copyright: Schaumaplast

Last Update March 3, 2021