The word biodegradable is quite common nowadays. With the increased production of wastes that are now overflowing our landfills and making ways into our water bodies, there have been increased efforts in makings products that are classified as biodegradable.
By definition, an item is classified as biodegradable if it can be able to be broken down completely by bacteria or other living things. As the world is shifting towards eco-friendly packaging materials, packaging peanuts remain to be a vital waste in loose-fill packages. However, the good news is that today, we have biodegradable packing peanuts!
In this guide, we will outline what these biodegradable packing peanuts are, their features, and the time it takes for these materials to decompose. Additionally, we will provide some tricks in identifying if the packing peanuts are indeed biodegradable.
How can you tell if packing peanuts are biodegradable?
It is very important to be able to distinguish the different types of packing peanuts. While the non-biodegradable types usually take millions of years to breakdown, these eco-friendly biodegradable peanuts usually take only a few minutes before they start dissolving into the atmosphere.
Additionally, distinguishing between these types of packing peanuts is crucial when transporting sensitive electronics such as TV’s and laptops. These gadgets should not be shipped in standard Styrofoam materials since such materials are known to store some form of static electricity that might damage your devices.
The simplest test for biodegradable packing peanuts is to place your sample under a faucet and fill it with water. If the peanuts are biodegradable, they would almost immediately start to break down and disintegrate. If they are non-biodegradable, they would not be affected by water.
Although there are speculations that colour can be able to inform you where the packing peanuts are biodegradable or not, this is not entirely true. These packing peanuts come in different colours, and the green ones which are quite popular may be made from recycled materials but are not necessarily biodegradable. Alternatively, you can contact the manufacturer to learn more about your packing peanuts.
How long does it take for biodegradable packing peanuts to decompose?
All the plant-based biodegradable packing peanuts only takes a few minutes to completely dissolve in water. Since they are entirely made from starch and proteins, they are 100% compostable and biodegradable. The benefits of using these packing peanuts are worth the expense they attract.
Can you eat biodegradable packing peanuts?
Biodegradable packing peanuts are made from plant-based ingredients, which include wheat or corn-starch. These products easily dissolve when in contact with water or moisture.
However, this does not make them fit for human consumption. Although they are not toxic, they are usually not produced in a food-safe environment and are not fit for consumption. Whenever ingested accidentally by humans or pets, they are safe since they are nontoxic.