Packing Peanuts 101: A Complete Guide to Using and Recycling
Packing peanuts, also known as foam peanuts or packing noodles, are lightweight, small, and often irregularly shaped pieces of foam or starch-based material used in packaging. They are commonly used to protect fragile items during shipping and handling.
This guide outlines how movers and shipping companies use this packing material. Additionally, the post will also highlight ways to recycle packing peanuts.
Packing Peanuts: Usage
Foam packing peanuts are typically made from expanded polystyrene (EPS). At the same time, some newer varieties are biodegradable and made from starch-based materials that dissolve in water, offering a more environmentally friendly option.
Packing and moving companies utilize packing peanuts in various ways to ensure the safe transportation of items. Here are some ways they use packing peanuts:
- Cushioning fragile items:Packing peanuts are used to cushion delicate and breakable items such as glassware, ceramics, electronics, and artwork. They fill the empty spaces inside boxes, providing a protective layer around the items to prevent them from knocking against each other during transit.
- Filling voids in packages:When packing irregularly shaped items or when there’s extra space in a box, packing peanuts are employed to fill these voids. This prevents movement within the box and minimizes the risk of damage due to shifting during transport.
- Insulating sensitive items:For items that are sensitive to temperature changes or require insulation, packing peanuts can act as a buffer against extreme temperatures. They help maintain a more stable environment within the packaging.
- Supporting heavy items:Packing peanuts can be used as a base or additional support for heavier items within a box. Placing a layer of peanuts at the bottom helps absorb shocks and distribute weight evenly.
- Reducing friction:They can also serve to reduce friction between items or between the items and the box, minimizing abrasion and potential damage caused by movement during shipping.
How to Recycle Packing Peanuts
- Local Drop-off Locations:Some shipping stores, postal offices, or packaging supply stores accept used packing peanuts for recycling. They often have designated bins or areas for dropping off clean and reusable packing materials.
- Reuse at Home:If in good condition, you can reuse packing peanuts for your own shipping needs or donate them to local businesses or individuals who can use them for packaging.
- Check with Recycling Centers:Some recycling centers accept packing peanuts, especially those made from biodegradable materials. However, not all recycling centers handle these materials, so it’s important to check with them beforehand.
- Online Recycling Programs:Some companies offer mail-back programs where you can send packing peanuts for recycling. They provide instructions on how to properly package and send the materials.
Packs & Ships is a national packing and moving company offering moving, packaging, and shipping servicesacross the US. Their team uses quality packing material and deploys strategic techniques to ensure the items arrive at their destination undamaged and intact. Request a quote today if you want to move or ship packages in Las Vegas, Tacoma, Seattle, and other locations.