Did you know that packing peanuts have been around for more than half a century? Well, no packing material is more iconic than packing peanuts.
This weightless, spongy box filler is a packing staple. Traditional foam peanuts are made of polystyrene, also commonly referred to as Styrofoam. The peanut foam interlocks within a package, filling in the gaps to provide padding, compression, and support during transit, without adding significant weight to the package.
Shipping peanuts are also popular due to their versatility – they can be used for packages of every size without extensive alteration to the packing materials. But despite its versatility, the Styrofoam peanut has come under strong criticism from environmentalists across the world because of its non-biodegradable nature.
Despite maybe not being the best solution for the environment in the past, shipping peanuts are actually a pretty good packaging solution and have been used for years to protect sensitive items such as ornaments, electronics, glassware, and so on. Luckily, many manufacturers have come up with environmentally friendly alternatives – biodegradable packing peanuts. Here are some of our top picks.
Best Packing Peanuts
- Top Pick: FunPak Plant Based Biodegradeable Peanuts
- Runner Up: Secure Seal Biodegradable Peanuts
- Best Value: Bubblefast! Earth Friendly Noodle Shaped Peanuts
FunPak Plant Based Biodegradeable Peanuts
Top Pick: You will absolutely love these peanuts. First, unlike their Styrofoam counterparts, the FunPak peanuts are 100% biodegradable, compostable plant-based packing peanuts. They are also super fun! They are available in a variety of colors and designs ranging from green Christmas trees to pink ribbons and red, white, and blue stars which are certainly a perfect show of loyalty and pride. Besides, they are also great for craft projects. Simply wet the bottom of the shape and it will stick to almost any surface. These peanuts are made in the US.
Secure Seal Biodegradable Peanuts
Runner Up: For ultimate shipping protection, consider using Secure Seal’s biodegradable peanuts. Some products will falsely claim to be good for the environment, but not this one. Made of natural plant starch, the Secure Seal peanuts are non-toxic and 100% biodegradable. Additionally, these peanuts are lightweight and still offer great shock cushioning, keeping your fragile products safe during transit. These white peanuts are available in volumes ranging from 1 cubic foot to 14 cubic feet.
Bubblefast! Earth Friendly Noodle Shaped Peanuts
Best Value: The Bubblefast! peanuts are lightweight and not as dense as the “normal” peanuts. Use these peanuts to protect your delicate items. They are soft and easy to mold around little fragile items. They are also 100% compostable and do not leave any harmful residue. These peanuts are certainly a great choice from both a packing and environmental perspective.
MT Products Biodegradable Packing Peanuts
The MT Products packing peanuts are a great alternative to the Styrofoam peanuts. They are 100% biodegradable, strong, and lightweight, providing you with excellent resilience and bracing that you need when shipping fragile items. Because they are made of plant extracts, these peanuts can also be added to your potted plants as mulch.
BOX USA Environmentally Friendly Loose-Fill
Like many biodegradable peanuts, this loose-fill from BOX USA is made from starch-based resources that are environmentally friendly. It easily dissolves in water and does not leave any harmful residues. It is also dust-free, anti-static, and abrasion-resistant so you are certain that your customers will get your products in the same condition you sent them.
DMSE Biodegradable Peanuts
The whole point of biodegradable products is that they are environmentally friendly and recyclable. The DMSE lives to both expectations, but what really sets them apart is that they are available in smaller packs that range from a quarter cubic foot to a cubic foot. They also easily fill the gaps and are dust-free.
Aviditi Packing Peanuts
The Aviditi peanuts are a great packing ally. These environmentally friendly peanuts are made from starch-based resources. They easily disintegrate in water, leave no harmful residue and are anti-static, dust-free, and abrasion resistant. They also easily absorb spills making them a great choice for filling up packages with chemicals and liquids.
What to Look for When Buying Packing Peanuts
The ultimate aim of using packing peanuts is to protect your merchandise during transit. Biodegradability has also become a main concern as Styrofoam peanuts can literally take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill. These are among some of the things that you need to keep in mind when looking for packing peanuts. Let’s dive into a little more detail.
- Shape and Weight: To avoid adding extra fees to your shipping, your peanuts need to be lightweight. Also, make sure you are okay with the shape. Of course, with technology, the packing peanuts come in a variety of shapes to complement your style.
- Color: Packing peanuts can also add a little bit of flair to your products and brand. Luckily, some manufacturers offer a variety of colors to match your needs.
- Environmentally Friendly: Is your choice of peanuts 100% compostable? Can it dissolve in water without leaving any harmful toxins?
- Price: Packing peanuts should not be super expensive. Make sure you are getting value for money by considering the price and amount of peanuts that you get which are usually measured in cubic feet.
- Residue: Packing foam should be anti-static, dust-free, and abrasion-resistant. Your clients should receive their merchandise in the same condition that you sent them.
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