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Packing Peanuts

Foam peanuts interlock while packed and openly flow while not compacted. Generally, their size and shape are similar to the peanuts without shell while normally produced through stretched polystyrene foam. A few inches (50–75 mm) of peanuts are normally utilized for padding as well as filling. Packaging peanuts are polystyrene fragments that are incorporated into the packaging of fragile items with the goal to prevent products from moving inside the box during distribution. Some of these peanuts are made from biodegradable materials.

Dow Chemical Company, using 100% virgin polystyrene tar, created polystyrene peanuts around 1965. However, peanuts using 100% reused polystyrene have been available since the mid-90s. Usually green peanuts are 70% or above recycled polystyrene, white peanuts are 70% or above virgin gum, and pink peanuts are antistatic.

In the mid-1990s, environmental-friendly starch-based packing peanuts were produced. The peanuts contain starch originated from crops, as opposed to petroleum-based polystyrene. Starch-based peanuts are biodegradable and dissolve in water. One of the most well known brands of biodegradable peanuts, Biofoam, is produced using the grain sorghum; while other brands are produced using cornstarch. Biodegradable foam peanuts have no electrostatic charge, another advantage over polystyrene. They are also harmless for people and animals if swallowed. Their principle disadvantages are lower versatility, higher weight, dust creation, and higher cost.

Packing peanuts composed of polystyrene, or Styrofoam, are a more lightweight option. However, they are hard to disintegrate. After transfer, they can wind up in a landfill or coasting around the sea for some numerous years.

Biodegradable starch-based packing peanuts might be an all the more ecologically agreeable alternative; however, they do have their impediments. With a higher weight than customary packing peanuts, the eco-friendly rendition expands shipping costs. Creation additionally has higher expenses than conventional packing peanuts, and in a testing economy, numerous shoppers and suppliers will regularly pick diminished expenses over greener, more costly choices. Numerous reusing programs acknowledge Styrofoam packing peanuts, which are reused and coded to show material roots. Green peanuts are produced using no less than 70% reused materials. A few organizations began to make these padding materials with reused plastic, which was a positive initial step. Peanut trades began to emerge also: organizations that got things pressed in peanuts could bring them, sacked, to a trade where organizations that required packing materials could lift them up and reuse them in their own bundles.

While packing peanuts are an affordable, lightweight packaging option in the economy, they have negative environmental effects. However, biodegradable packing peanuts are completely biodegradable and have a much better long-term effect on the environment. Realizing the impact that Styrofoam packing peanuts have on the environment, the packaging industry is continuing to come up with new, creative solutions to aid in diminishing the environmental damage that they cause.

References (2010). Starch-based Packing Peanuts. Retrieved from

Engber, D. (2014, 04 25). Who Made That Packing Peanut? Retrieved from

Fackler, A. (2010, 09 17). Inside the Secret Science of Packing Material. Retrieved from (n.d.). Pros and Cons of Biodegradable Packing Peanuts. Retrieved from

wisegeek. (n.d.). what are packing peanuts. Retrieved from


Feedback from Readers

  • "Fahad derides PS packing peanuts as the least environmentally friendly option. That could not be more wrong. The packing peanut industry relieves landfills of the volume of PS equal to 19 minutes of the captured flow of Niagara Falls. Think about that for a second as a volume kept out of landfills. Starch requires new energy and new raw materials to make. The most glaring problem with Starch that was ignored, is that it is a food source. Rats, Mice and roaches love to call it home. Imagine the shopper who did not order Rats that receives one in their package. The chasing arrows were utilized for recycling for a reason. One being, to consider the entire process in the environmental impact investigation. PS packaging peanuts has done the best job of any product or industry to close the loop through Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." -- Michael P. Lloyd

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