ralph lauren mens polo shirts on sale Green alternative to packing peanuts
Special to QMI Agency
I finally found a packaging alternative to polystyrene peanuts, those annoying static y little burps of evil that disgorge themselves from shipments large and small. You know the ones: the pink, green and white foamy squiggles that cushion the contents of parcels. Them.
I found something better. No, not the cornstarch version of packaging peanuts, which mimic naked Cheetos before they’re doused in neon orange fake cheese. Corn based shipping nuggets are a clever alternative to polystyrene, but why take a useful product like corn out of the food supply to become packaging?
It raises the cost of corn based foods and besides, it can attract rodents. And cornstarch peanuts don’t fare well under damp conditions (high humidity can turn cornstarch packaging soft and slimy, much like Cheetos under an onslaught of saliva).
Nut to mention
So what’s my new discovery? PaperNuts: little twisted kernels of 100% post consumer recycled paper (measuring about 1″ x 3″). They nest and lock around shipped objects tighter than a corset.
The simplicity of the PaperNuts concept makes you wonder why no one thought of it sooner. Why convert expensive petroleum into packaging products like bubble wrap and polystyrene when there’s a mountain of recyclable paper available?
PaperNuts are made from paper waste and corrugated cardboard that was on its way to the landfill; its producers claim it to be the most eco friendly lightweight packaging available worldwide.
Nut on my watch
The fact that Paper Nuts are static free wins me over because I’ve lost hours of my life chasing little chunks of polystyrene around the house after unboxing something. Not to mention picking polystyrene crumbs off clothing and shrieking in frustration while trying to get chippy chunks of it into a garbage bag. (It’s a well documented phenomenon that plastic garbage bags reverse gravity and repel polystyrene back into your hand like the hell mouth spitting out an errant do gooder).
PaperNuts aren’t dusty and don’t bust up under the stresses of shipping. And they expand rather than compress during transit, so the object you’re sending is more and more secure as it travels, just like when your seatbelt gets tighter and tighter on a long car trip. those plastic bag air bladders that come in boxes from Amazon or Chapters Indigo). It’s here that PaperNuts really shine.
They form lots of linked planes under pressure from heavy items. Tough and springy, in other words, and good for stopping the object from migrating while also providing cushioning against shock and vibration.
The fact that PaperNuts have been used in Europe for years probably won’t surprise you, but maybe this will: if you have no reason to reuse them, you can add PaperNuts to your compost to help increase carbon content and reduce nitrogen levels caused by wet,
mouldering vegetable matter, so the compost breaks down more efficiently.
The craft possibilities for PaperNuts are infinite wreaths, sculptures, cat toys, mobiles, puppet stuffing oh, don’t get me started!
So now you know; If you ever need to ship packages to relatives or customers, move house, or put away your snow globe collection for another year, you can now pack ’em with confidence and a clear conscience.
On the down side, when you send a homemade gift to your Valentine and pack it in PaperNuts, you can’t use the old excuse, “It looked really good when I shipped it so it must have gotten wrecked in transit.”.