One of the prime motivations for renting a self storage unit is to stash valuable items in boxes. Storing your possessions off site in a rented self storage unit is a great option. Packing in preparation for a move, unpacking after a move, or even getting a box delivered to your door might mean you’ll be faced with a dilemma that confronts many movers and package recipients; what on earth to do with all the leftover packing peanuts.
The most common reaction to the packing peanut proliferation problem is to just throw them all away. Bear in mind before you do this, white or pink ones are not biodegradable, so taking them to the curb just helps add yet another layer to the landfill.
Styrofoam peanuts are color coded to reflect their origin. If they are green they were manufactured from recycled materials and will break down in the environment after five years or less if exposed to organic material. A white or pink peanut means the materials used to create it were at least 70% raw and not recycled. In addition, pink means that they’ve been treated with chemicals which help lessen static cling.
Other Uses For Those Pesky Peanuts
There are several practical options for use of these little buggers, and if you really don’t want to repurpose them, there is a Going Green way to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner.
If you have houseplants or a container garden, you can take the Styrofoam and put it in the base of your pots, or grind it up into small pieces and mix it with the soil. Doing this promotes proper drainage in the pots and is good for your plants. They can also be utilized in flower arrangements to stabilize the display.
If you have a zippered pillow or pet bed which could use some bulking up, throw a passel of packing peanuts inside to make them fluffier and more comfy.
A packing peanut placed on a pointed object can make the likelihood of pricking yourself proportionately smaller than if that point is left unguarded. Scissors and screw drivers are examples of sharp objects which can be selected for the Styrofoam stopper.
You can always bag them or box them up and store them away for reuse at a later time for your own packing or shipping needs. They do not eat or drink anything, so will store quite nicely. A final option is just to ask a local shipper if they would like to have them. Many will be happy to accept them for reuse.
Recycling Is A Green and Environmentally Friendly Option
If you just have to get rid of them, Go Green and dispose of them properly. The Plastic Loose Fill Council was founded in 1991 to develop, promote and implement the recovery, reuse and recycling of packing peanuts. Environmentally friendly folks can drop off their unwanted packing peanuts at over 1,500 collection sites in the USA. Call the Peanut Hotline, 800-828-2214 to learn of a dropoff location near you.
For example, if you live in the metropolitan Miami, Florida area and you’ve just finished packing some boxes for storage and have some leftover packing peanuts, you’ll find locations that serve the Greater Miami area to properly dispose of them by visiting www.epspackaging.org/index.php. In fact, the site lists many locations in Florida where you can recycle packing peanuts.
So, don’t feel overwhelmed by the packing peanut pile. Reuse them or recycle them and your local landfill will thank you.