Industry News | March 30, 2001

McDonald's Approves EarthShell Container

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EarthShell Corporation (Nasdaq: ERTH) announced today that after more than two years in validation and testing, the product design of its EarthShell Packaging® hinged-lid containers for the McDonald's Big Mac® sandwich has met product performance targets and has received final approval by McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD). Introduced in Chicago locations last April, EarthShell's compostable packaging has been used to serve more than seven million Big Mac sandwiches. In approving the product design, McDonald's has extended congratulations to EarthShell Corporation and reiterated its intent to use the product in the U.S. system based on continuing performance against expectations. Over the next several months, EarthShell Corporation will be working closely together with the McDonald's system to expand product use and define a ramp-up timeline.

"This is the most significant development to date for our company,'' said Simon K. Hodson, Chief Executive Officer of EarthShell Corporation. "We have achieved one of our primary goals by developing a package design which exceeds performance expectations and maintains all of the environmental attributes characteristic of EarthShell Packaging.''

Today's announcement follows collaborative efforts between EarthShell and key individuals within the McDonald's system to develop product enhancements, which include modifications to the closure mechanism and an improved film coating process, both of which improve the properties of the package while maintaining the original environmental profile of the EarthShell package.

"The process for securing McDonald's validation of our packaging design has been intense and thorough,'' continued Hodson. "Meeting McDonald's stringent performance requirements for distribution, warehousing, store operations and customer expectations is a great achievement and a milestone of which we are extremely proud.''

The EarthShell container for the Big Mac sandwich was designed with the environment in mind. It was developed over many years using a Life Cycle Inventory and consultation with leading environmental experts to reduce the environmental burdens of rigid sandwich packaging through the careful selection of raw materials, processes and suppliers. The containers are made from reclaimed potato starch, natural limestone and post-consumer recycled fiber (which does not require the cutting of trees), biodegradable polymer and wax coatings, and water. This new packaging substantially reduces risk to wildlife compared to polystyrene foam sandwich containers because it biodegrades when exposed to moisture in nature, physically disintegrates in water when crushed or broken and can be composted in a commercial facility, where available, or in your backyard.

EarthShell Corporation has entered into a number of agreements to license its technology and to participate in joint ventures with existing manufacturers of foodservice packaging. Additional EarthShell Packaging products include: hinged-lid containers, next generation products such as plates, bowls, and hot and cold cups, and the recently announced new sandwich wraps. The company currently provides plates and bowls for use by the U.S. Department of Interior.

EarthShell Corporation is engaged in the licensing and commercialization of proprietary composite material technology for the manufacture of disposable foodservice packaging, including cups, plates, bowls, hinged-lid containers, and sandwich wraps. EarthShell Packaging is designed to be cost and performance competitive compared to other foodservice packaging materials, and also provide important environmental advantages.