Welcome to GreenItUp, a database of common items, and how to reduce, reuse, and recycle them.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Styrofoam Peanuts

Includes Styrofoam (polystyrene) packing peanuts, not starch-based packing peanuts.
Styrofoam peanuts are non-biodegradable and toxic, whereas starch-based peanuts melt in water and are non-toxic. Salted peanuts are commonly consumed as snacks.

Reduce

Buy products at your local (“brick and mortar”) store instead of ordering online, which calls for packaging materials and energy for shipping.

Use newspaper as packaging material instead of buying peanuts.

Contact the shipper and request they switch to an alternative packing material. Being “green” is becoming more popular these days, so it’s worth a shot. Be aware Styrofoam peanuts are probably the cheapest and most effective material out there, so companies switching materials may mean you end up paying a higher cost. On the other hand, you as a consumer have a choice of who you do business with.

Reuse

Save peanuts you receive and reuse them when you ship stuff.

Some shipping companies (UPS, Mailboxes Etc.) gladly accept donations. Find a drop-off location near you (may not be very comprehensive).

Break them down as stuffing for a bean bag chair.

Sources

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