Packing Peanuts, Are They Really Biodegradable?

At Milhench Supply one of the categories we sell is Packing Supplies and within that, packing peanuts. Often clients are interested in becoming more Green, and when we mention biodegradable packing peanuts, they often respond with, are they really biodegradable?

The answer, you betcha, they do break down!

Here are some common questions and fast facts on the packing peanut.

  • Is there a financial benefit to using a biodegradable packing peanut?  YES, shippers are finding the starch-based packaging peanuts more economical over the rising cost of petroleum-based products, and more reliable than single-ply paper protection.


  • Are biodegradable packing peanuts edible? They are safe to ingest; however, it is not recommended that humans or pets consume them.  The peanuts are manufactured in non-food safe conditions, and during the process, the nutritional value is removed.


  • How do you dispose of biodegradable packing peanuts?  Non-biodegradable packing peanuts can take anywhere from 10-500 years to break down (!!!).  If you are using biodegradable packing peanuts, they dissolve in water or you may put them into compost piles.


  • Do the biodegradable peanuts have an electrostatic charge like styrofoam peanuts?  No, they do not.

Here are some fast facts on the RENATURE® Loose Fill Peanuts Bio Tube 100% Biodegradable Packing Peanuts

  • Made from annually renewable resources
  • Certified compostable loose fill according to ASTM D6400 (USA) and EN 13432 (Europe)
  • 100% compostable — will decompose in commercial landfills
  • Leaves no harmful residue
  • Disintegrates in water without polluting groundwater resources
  • Minimizes material and shipping cost
  • Dust-free, anti-static and abrasion resistant
  • Fast and easy to use—no training required
  • Available in bulk truck delivery or bags

You may be wondering why we take something such as packing peanuts so seriously here at Milhench Supply and there answer is multifaceted.

First, we are always interested in ways to protect the environment, as you can read about on our post about napkin dispensing the Total Hand Hygiene System with NEXA, or Non-Toxic environmentally friendly products with enzyme producing bacteria to help you control odors.

Second, for a business, the packaging is a huge part of your branding.

  • Any time a package arrives it is a treat, and people have a little leap of joy that something (anything) has landed on their doorstep that isn’t a bill.
  • Making it special is easy and affordable with RENAUTRE® biodegradable packing peanuts.
  • You are also able to convey to your customers that you are using eco-friendly products, which we see as increasingly important to consumers, (note the enormous impact Starbucks has had on lids without straws).

This TED Talk features IKEA executive Steve Howard and addresses businesses and sustainability.   A quote from the talk, “So if you’re a business leader, if you’re not already weaving sustainability right into the heart of your business model,I’d urge you to do so. And together, we can help create a sustainable world, and, if we get it right, we can make sustainability affordable for the many people, not a luxury for the few.”

If part of your business is packaging, please give us a call, (508) 995-8331 or send us an email and we will happily help you.