Are Dissolvable Packing Peanuts Toxic?

As more and more people seek to live more eco-friendly lives, more and more manufacturers are looking into sustainable packaging, especially in this era of online shopping. It is therefore not surprising that people have sought a replacement for traditional packing peanuts – dissolvable ones.

Now if you are still on the fence about these peanuts, it is completely understandable. So to help you out, today we are going to discuss all things dissolvable packing peanuts.

What are dissolvable packing peanuts?

As their name suggests, these are packing peanuts that dissolve in water. They are starch-based, biodegradable, and are eco-friendly.

Most manufacturers even have these peanuts certified under the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI).

How do dissolvable packing peanuts work?

Like traditional foam packing peanuts, dissolvable ones work as cushioning for fragile items. They are usually filled in boxes before placing the item you are planning to ship off.

One advantage they have over Styrofoam peanuts is that they don’t hold any static and are therefore great for transporting electronics.

This also means that they don’t cling to your clothes as you unpack the package.

However, their ability to absorb moisture makes them unsuitable for humid conditions. Moreover, they are heavier and more expensive to produce than foam peanuts.

Are dissolvable packing peanuts toxic to humans or pets?

Since dissolvable packing peanuts are made of corn or wheat starch, they aren’t toxic to either you or your pet. So if your dog accidentally eats one, there isn’t anything much to worry about. However, they are not manufactured in food-safe conditions and have no nutritional value. So eating them is still not a good idea.

On the other hand, styrofoam packing peanuts are outrightly toxic. They can be a choking hazard and can even block your dog’s intestines. If your dog swallows such packing peanuts, you should immediately call a veterinarian. But if you can’t reach one, you could try the US Animal Poison Control Center.

How to keep your dog from eating packing peanuts

If your dog keeps eating packing peanuts, there are a few things you can do to prevent this. These include:

  • Keeping your dog in another room whenever you are unpacking packages.
  • Always run a few packing peanuts under water to establish if they are the dissolvable ones or not.
  • Store packing peanuts in areas your dog can’t reach ie on high shelves.

What is the best way to dispose of dissolvable packing peanuts?

Apart from dissolving them in your sink, you can also add these packing peanuts to your compost.

However, they can’t be recycled – most recycling programs just don’t accept them, opting for styrofoam peanuts instead.

Dissolvable equals sustainable

While dissolvable packing peanuts have their faults, they are one the most readily available sustainable options out there – you can easily find them in stores that sell packaging materials.

So if you are hell-bent on using packing peanuts, these are your best bet!

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