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Insulation type comparisons

At Borgarplast we produce insulated fish containers with two different kinds of insulation. On one hand we have Polyurethane (PUR) insulation and the other we have Polyethylene (PE) insulation. Each type has its unique qualities and therefore they are best suited for different kinds of situations. In this article we will compare the two to hopefully clear up some questions.

Environmental concerns

The PE container is 100% recyclable as the whole container is one material (PE walls and insulation). The PUR container is burned for energy production as it has two different materials and therefore not 100% recyclable. However the lifetime of these containers are measured in tens of years and the PUR container is lighter and has better insulation qualities and therefore in the long run it can be better for the environment in terms of fuel used in transport for example.

Insulation qualities

The PUR container has better insulation qualities and is therefore better suited when there is a demand to keep products at low temperatures for a long time. Also where temps are extreme in both ways, either very hot or very cold. For example, the PUR container is preferred by our clients in Turkey where temperatures can get very high. This means that less ice is required and then more fish can be transported as more fish fits in the container with less ice.


The PUR container is lighter. For example the type 660 container is 9 kgs lighter than the PE container. In Iceland where vessels carry up to 600 containers on each trip this can mean a lot in the use of fuel. Also, where there are weight limitations you can carry more fish than plastic.


The PE container is more robust and stronger than the PUR tub. The material does not bend as much as PUR and therefore PE containers can be stacked higher than PUR tubs and they will withstand more weight piled on top. However as the material is stiffer it’s also more likely to crack with collision as the PUR container will bend and bounce a little more. We refer to our PE tubs as Heavy Duty and we think it describes the differences quite well.


Both types of containers have the same lifespan, and they can be used with proper handling and maintenance for tens of years. In 1991 a fish farm was founded in Turkey and they bought their first batch of PUR containers from us. In 2023 these containers are still in use, 32 years later. So Borgarplast containers are a long-term investment.


The PUR containers are less expensive then the PE containers and that can be explained by the price of raw materials used and also the time it takes to produce each type.