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Plastic 'space box' for orchid seedlings developed in Taiwan

Plastic 'space box' for orchid seedlings developed in Taiwan

A patented plastic container caught the eye of visitors to the Taiwan International Orchid Show 2009, taking place in the southern Taiwan county of Tainan, for its "green" design and germproof character.
The "Space Box" - a square box with a round cap - was developed by a Taipei-based company, Asia-Orchids Technology Corp., to replace the traditional glass bottle used to pack delicate and fragile orchid seedlings exported overseas.
The light weight and compact design of the recyclable plastic bottle, 12cm in diameter and 11cm high, help save one-third of the shipping costs necessary to ship the seedlings overseas in the glass bottles, according to Kuo Shu-shyang, CEO of the private company dedicating to orchid breeding and marketing.
Kuo told the Central News Agency Monday that they spent seven years developing the germproof cultivation box, perfecting a sterilization process that made using a plastic bottle viable.
Bottles have to be sterilized before the seedlings are put inside to ensure germs cannot get in. Glass bottles had been the only choice for local orchid growers to pack seedlings due to their resistance to the high temperatures used during the sterilization process.
The Space Box resolves the sterilization challenge because the container is designed to be germproof through a special low-temperature sterilization procedure, said Kuo, who proudly noted, "It is the first of its kind in the world."
The company obtained a patent for the box, priced at NT$15 per unit, in both Taiwan and China in February 2008.
Although the container is NT$4 more expensive per unit than glass bottles, it is also 28 percent lighter than its glass counterpart and is not easily broken, Kuo said.
Orchids have been one of Taiwan's major agricultural exports. In 2008, orchid exports exceeded US$80 million.


Updated : 2021-04-11 19:07 GMT+08:00