Are Biodegradable Packing Peanuts Safe for Packing & Planet? See 2 Aspects!
Once you see products online and order them, your task ends except wait for order delivery. But the suppliers need a bulk of items to complete the order. Especially for packing orders, like cardboard boxes, styrofoam, plastic bags, and packing peanuts (of course). Well! Have you ever heard about biodegradable packing peanuts?
Packing peanuts have undoubtedly been an essential part of shipping for decades, used to fill empty spaces and protect fragile items during transportation. However, as concerns about the environment and sustainability have increased, many people have started to question the safety and ecological impact of traditional packing peanuts. This has led to the rise of biodegradable packing peanuts, which are designed to break down quickly and naturally.
But are these packing peanuts safe for packing and the planet? This is an addressable problem that needs to sort out. Well! Don’t worry; this guide will help you to figure this out. So, just read to the end.
Let’s Introduce Packing Peanuts First!
They’re those lightweight things that come in some of your packages that look kind of like short Cheetos 😋. Most of the time, they’re white, but they can also come in other colors, like pink or green, too. They’re roughly the size of an unshelled peanut (hence the name). Although they can also come in other shapes, like an “S.”
Also called foam peanuts, foam popcorn, or packing noodles,
- They provide cushioning for fragile items as they get tossed about during the shipping process.
- They are meant to interlock when they’re compressed and then free flow when not compressed.
They’re super lightweight, too, which can help cut down on shipping costs and fuel
What are Biodegradable Packing Peanuts?
Biodegradable packing peanuts are made from natural materials, such as corn starch, potato starch, mushrooms, or other biodegradable polymers. These materials are organic and renewable.
Thus, these packing peanuts are designed to break down quickly and naturally when exposed to the elements, such as water, air, or soil. This makes them an attractive option for people who are looking for an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional packing peanuts.
How Packing Peanuts are Made of?
There are TWO primary types of packing peanuts. Such as;
Styrofoam Packing Peanuts
Original packing peanuts, which were developed in the 1960s, were made from polystyrene foam and made commercially available by the huge chemical corporation Dow Chemical.
Polystyrene foam is a synthetic (man-made) chemical foam that’s essentially the same thing as styrofoam. It’s a type of plastic that is a petroleum product.
Starch-Based Packing Peanuts
A newer, more eco-friendly form of peanuts was developed in the 1990s. However, it’s only become much more widely used in the past decade. Instead of petroleum-based polystyrene, the new ones are made from plant-based starches like corn and/or grain.
Not only are starch-based packing peanuts more eco-friendly than their styrofoam predecessor, but they also don’t have an electrostatic charge, which means they’re not going to stick all over your goods. So annoying!And now, since this more sustainable packing material is becoming more widely used by companies, it’s become just as affordable as the styrofoam kind.
Let’s Reveal / Are Biodegradable Packing Peanuts Safe for Packing and Planet?
See the Upsides
😊 They’re more eco-friendly.
One of the main benefits of biodegradable packing peanuts is that they are much better for the environment than traditional packing peanuts, which are typically made from polystyrene foam.
Polystyrene foam is a type of plastic that is not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose.
This means that traditional packing peanuts can have a serious impact on the environment, as they can take up space in landfills for many years.
In contrast, biodegradable packing peanuts are designed to break down quickly and naturally. So they don’t have the same negative impact on the environment. When exposed to water, they dissolve, and when exposed to air, they break down into harmless particles that can be easily composted or recycled.
😊 They’re safe for packing.
Another benefit of biodegradable packing peanuts is that they are generally considered safe for packing. They are made from natural materials, which means that they don’t contain any of the harmful chemicals or toxins that can be found in traditional packing peanuts. This makes them a safer and healthier option for people who are concerned about their health and the health of their families.
😊 They’re good for transportation.
Additionally, biodegradable packing peanuts are just as effective as traditional packing peanuts when it comes to protecting items during shipping. They are lightweight and cushioned items just as well as traditional packing peanuts, so there is no need to worry about items getting damaged during transportation.
See the Upsides
🙁 They do not quickly break down.
One of the main concerns is that they may not break down as quickly or effectively as advertised. While biodegradable packing peanuts are designed to break down naturally, this process can take longer than expected, especially if they are not exposed to the right conditions.
For example, if biodegradable packing peanuts are not exposed to enough water or air, they may not break down as quickly as they should. This can lead to them accumulating in landfills, where they may not break down at all. This can have a negative impact on the environment, as it can lead to increased waste and pollution.
🙁 They’re not much protective.
Another concern is that biodegradable packing peanuts may not be as effective at protecting items during shipping as traditional packing peanuts. While biodegradable packing peanuts are generally just as effective at cushioning items, there is some concern that they may not provide the same level of protection as traditional packing peanuts in certain situations.
For example, if an item is particularly fragile or valuable, it may require additional protection that biodegradable packing peanuts may not be able to provide. This could lead to the item getting damaged during shipping, which could be costly and frustrating for both the shipper and the recipient.
Are Biodegradable Packing Peanuts Edible?
Though biodegradable packing peanuts are non-toxic, BUT they are not edible. Some people may be tempted to eat them, thinking that they are made from food-grade and plant-based materials. However, biodegradable packing peanuts are not designed for consumption, and they can cause choking or digestive problems if ingested.
Biodegradable packing peanuts are a more eco-friendly alternative to traditional packing peanuts. They are made from renewable resources and decompose more quickly, reducing their impact on the environment. However, they are not without their drawbacks and may be more expensive and less durable than traditional packing peanuts.
It is important to remember that biodegradable packing peanuts are not edible and should not be ingested. Overall, they are a step in the right direction toward a more sustainable future for packaging.