Can You Eat Biodegradable Packing Peanuts
You can eat biodegradable packing peanuts These are made from materials like cornstarch or potato starch, and they will break down over time. But these packing peanuts don’t taste very good, and they can be hard to digest. Plus, they won’t do much to help your hunger.
Biodegradable packing peanuts are made of crops-based elements like wheat starch and corn, while the non-degradable ones are made from polystyrene, which is based on oil. Traditional packing peanuts are made out of polystyrene, most commonly known as Styrofoam, whereas biodegradable packing peanuts are made from natural materials like wheat and corn starch.
Bioplastic foam (thermoplastic starch) packing peanuts, also known as foam popcorn, packing peanuts, or packing noodles, are common, loose-filled packing materials and cushioning materials used to help protect delicate items from being damaged in transportation. Known as foam peanuts, foam popcorn, or packing noodles, they provide cushioning to delicate items when being tossed around in shipping. Foam peanuts are approximately the size and shape of an unshelled peanut, typically made from expanded polystyrene foam.
Polystyrene-based peanuts were originally made with 100% never-before-used, or virgin, polystyrene resin, but by the mid-1990s, peanuts made with 100% recycled polystyrene became commercially available. Polystyrene-based peanuts were created and patented by Tektronix Inc. Dow Chemical began selling them in about 1965, along with its own branded material, Styrofoam. One of the earliest brands of biodegradable peanuts, Biofoam, was made with grain sorghum; other brands were made with corn starch.
Biodegradable peanut materials do not use so much energy to manufacture, and facilities producing them produce less greenhouse gases. While non-biodegradable types typically require millions of years to break down, these environmentally-friendly biodegradable peanuts typically only need a few minutes before starting to disperse into the atmosphere.
Check out my other article that explains how long it takes to pass nuts after you’ve eaten them.
Biodegradable packing peanuts eventually break down with no residue, leaving no toxic residue, but cannot be relied upon to decompose in composting conditions without some extra help. Biodegradable starch-based packing peanuts are slightly less durable than foam, so can degrade during shipping or post-shipment, generating dust. The most important drawback to starch-based packing peanuts is their cost, since even making them costs more than making traditional polystyrene packing peanuts.
Starch-based packing peanuts are biodegradable and water-soluble, therefore, they do not run the risk of contaminating oceans, lakes, and rivers, nor do they sit in landfills for hundreds of years, like polystyrene products. Some companies are working on biodegradable alternatives to starch-based peanuts that are not soluble in water, so it might not always be a drawback. The good news is that starch-based peanuts, because they are made with plant materials, are technically not toxic, should you, your kid, or your pet accidentally swallow a couple.
That means even if they are non-toxic, it does not mean that you should start eating them as a mid-day snack, or simply allow your dog to get into them as dog food. Since bio-nuts are made with naturally-based, plant-based starch, you do not need to worry about them ruining pipes or contaminating your environment after you have dissolving and washing them. When you water plants, allow a few peanuts to dissolve in the watering can, and then use it to water the plants. The completely plant-based, biodegradable peanuts will dissolve into the water, making it impossible for the completely plant-based product to end up contaminating the ocean, lakes, rivers, or streams.
Made of naturally-based, non-toxic materials, starch-based peanuts will decompose within days — even hours, if exposed to moisture and heat — leaving no toxins, chemicals, or microplastics behind. In addition to being much greener at end-of-life than the foam varieties, biodegradable packaging peanuts can be made using less resources, generating less emissions during the entire process. Just like their foam biodegradable peanut counterparts, starch-based packing peanuts offer superior protection for delicate, oddly-shaped items when being shipped: the starch-based puffed pieces are molded to perfectly surround any shape or size, they are woven together with each other to form firm supports and an optimal cushioning, and they fill every void inside your shipping container. They are high-performance, free-fill packaging materials, and their impact-absorbing properties provide superior cushioning and protection.
Due to their lower manufacturing costs, the loose-fill packing peanuts are capable of protecting items inside of standard-size corrugated containers, eliminating the need for increased costs of custom boxes, consumers and suppliers continue to opt for loose-fill packing peanuts. For more information about loose-fill packing peanuts and other eco-friendly packaging solutions, contact Heritage Paper today. As the world moves toward more environmentally-friendly packaging materials, packing peanuts continue to be a critical waste product of loose-fill packages. Despite being detrimental for the environment, packing peanuts are actually quite a nice packing solution, and they work wonders for protecting delicate, delicate items such as electronics, jewelry, glassware, etc.
As mentioned above, polystyrene peanuts technically can be recycled, but only at commercial facilities (so do not throw these into your curbside recycling bin). If you do not have a recycling location for your peanuts nearby, you can return your peanuts by mail to a foam maker.
Also, the biodegradable foam peanuts have no electrostatic charges, which means that they do not stick to clothing. While foam peanuts may last centuries floating around the ocean, the biodegradable variety is designed to decompose in minutes after coming into contact with moisture. None of the emissions are cancer-causing or damaging: Natural is entirely non-toxic, and therefore workers are not exposed to hazardous chemicals or carcinogens in the production process (unlike the polystyrene packaging peanuts).
Biodegradable peanuts are plant-based and non-toxic, so are safe for humans and animals to accidentally eat (contrary to petroleum-based polystyrene packing peanuts, which are toxic and can cause serious health problems if consumed). The manufacturers of biodegradable packing peanuts have also claimed that if these soft, starch-based peanuts are swallowed by any aquatic organism, they would pose no major health problems, even if they chew down on those puffs. Plain starch-based puffs burn up really easy, making every bite of them acrid, and store-bought nacho powder does not really taste anything like Cheetos puffs — it is flavored with things like dehydrated garlic and onions, and ends up tasting slightly more Doritos than Cheetos, but the fact that the puffs burn really takes away from the entire fried-up experience with the packing peanuts, but the fact that puffs burn up does take away from the entire experience with fried packing peanuts.
Are dissolving packing peanuts toxic?
Dissolvable packing peanuts are safe for you and your pet because they are made of corn or wheat starch. There is, therefore, little cause for concern if your dog inadvertently consumes one. They lacked nutritional value and were not produced under safe consumption conditions.
What are biodegradable packing peanuts made from?
Wheat and maize starch are natural, non-toxic materials used to make biodegradable packing peanuts. After a single usage, they may be disposed of in compost piles by dissolving in water. Biodegradable foam nuts are also electrostatic-charge-free, so they won’t attach to clothing.
How can I tell if packing peanuts are biodegradable?
The simplest test for whether packing peanuts are biodegradable is to run water over them. When placed in water, compostable packing peanuts dissolve as the organic components start to break down. The pellets disintegrate entirely in a matter of minutes.