Packaging Peanuts: Recycle This

Many of us ecoist-types don’t like admiting our dirty little secret. But here goes: “My name is The Budget Ecoist and I like packaging peanuts.”

There! I said it! I’m not ashamed. Those packaging peanuts are great! They fill all the nooks and crannies of our packages and prevent breakage in a way that rolling vases in paper could never compete with. And who doesn’t have a fond childhood memory of diving your arms into a box of peanuts to fish around for the gift inside the box? And they actually look like peanuts! How fun is that?

Alas! There’s only room for so many peanuts in this world, pardner! We’ve gotta reuse the peanuts we’ve got if we even hope to preserve their legacy. Otherwise, next thing you know, there will be a group of rogue ecoists creating compostable peanuts, or peanuts made from corn.

Now with all the eco worries we have in the world, we ask you, is it really necessary to go after the packaging peanut? We think not.

Enter The Plastic Loose Fill Council, promoting and implementing the original use and subsequent recovery, reuse and recycling of packing peanuts.

Here they come to save the day!!

So how do you go about recycling your peanuts? Two ways: Consumers can call The Peanut Hotline, 800-828-2214, or visit their website, for the nearest location that accepts packing peanuts for reuse.

The Hotline has already referred close to a million consumers to local businesses that accept plastic loose fill for reuse.

Here are a few facts about peanuts, from our friends at The Plastic Loose Fill Council:

**EPS loose fill is non-toxic, inert and made without chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

**EPS loose fill is less than 1/4 of 1% of landfill volume.

**EPS loose fill is over 99.6% air.

**It takes 40% to 50% less energy to make EPS loose fill than to make a comparable amount of paper packaging.

**Atmospheric emissions from the production of polystyrene are only 1/2 to 1/3 of those from the production of a comparable amount of paper.

**Waste water volume from polystyrene production is 1/3 of that resulting from producing a comparable amount of paper.