Packing Peanuts

Alternative ways to recycle
Curbside Trash
NOpacking-peanuts

Packing Peanuts Are Not Recyclable

Packing peanuts, which are made from plastic #6, never biodegrade. Because they are so light, they are also difficult to contain. They often fly out of the trash as well as landfills, contaminating the environment.

styrofoam-cup

Help Prevent Litter

Packing peanuts are a lightweight material that easily find their way into the environment, where they can leach toxic chemicals. Make sure packing peanuts and other plastic #6 items don’t blow away by disposing of them properly.

green-packing-peanuts

Choose Green

If you have to use packing peanuts, try to pick the green ones. Some are made from recycled materials, and some are starch-based and biodegradable. The pink and white ones are made from 70 percent raw materials and won’t break down.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

home for foam

Recycle With Home for Foam

Visit Home for Foam to see if there is a foam recycler in your area. These recyclers will accept many foam products, including foam packaging.

styrofoam accepted by EPS

Recycle With EPS

Send your foam peanuts and hard packaging to EPS Industry Alliance Packaging, which offers a foam recycling alternative. Find a drop off location or mail in clean foam packaging to the nearest collection facility.

Ways to Reduce

shredded-paper

Use Paper Instead

Rather than purchasing packing peanuts, use a more sustainable alternative to protect your shipped items, like paper or newspaper that was headed for the recycling. You can also try using shredded paper, which is difficult to recycle.

mushroom

Packing Boxes With Mushrooms

Replace your packaging with a green alternative: Ecovative Design has developed bricks of organic waste that are injected with mushroom spores. They are biodegradable and will decompose in a month, unlike foam, which cannot fully biodegrade.

Ways to Reuse

Save for Next Time

Packing peanuts are easily reusable. Just save them and next time you ship something that needs protection, use the packing peanuts again.

teddy bear

Reuse Foam at Home

Use foam to refill cushions or stuffed animals that have lost their loft.

Take Them to a Mail Store

Some mail stores will accept packing peanuts and other packing materials for reuse. It depends on policies and current supply, so call ahead to ask.