Whether you’re at work or at home, chances are you’ve ordered a product that was shipped using polystyrene – commonly referred to as “packing peanuts”. These soft cushions, which are designed to prevent damage to goods during the shipping process, take hundreds of years to disintegrate, so recycling them is of the utmost importance.
Here are a few ideas for what to do with the “peanuts” the next time they arrive.
1) Store them and reuse the next time you need to ship a package or put materials in a box for storage.
2) When you’re ordering your product, ask if it can be packed using an alternate material such as shredded paper. Some companies might not advertise this, but it’s worth asking for.
3) Try to recycle them through your local transfer station or waste removal company. Some places, such as Mailboxes, Etc. do accept them so it’s worth asking around.
4) Use the peanuts in lieu of gravel in the base of potted plants. It’s works just as effectively for drainage but will weigh considerably less!
5) Donate! Your community may have a local reuse center designed to provide teachers, schools, non-profits, and individuals access to low-cost or free business and recreational items.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: The next time polystyrene arrives in your office or house, don’t leave the peanuts for the trash! Take a moment and think about how going green can save you, or others, some “green”.