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Protective Packaging: Time to Replace the Peanuts!

Protective Packaging: Time to Replace the Peanuts!

Toss the peanuts, try the developed forms of protective packaging. For a long time, peanuts were thought to be superior to fill holes and gaps within packages. As time went on, research made the cons of using peanuts as protective packaging clear. It is now an obvious choice to toss out the packing peanuts for something more protective for your packages and more beneficial to the environment.

What are packing peanuts made of?

Packing peanuts are composed of expanded polystyrene foam. While they are effective for filling in spaces and somewhat of a cushion, they are barely able to make it through the recycling process. Since they are small and loose, they also tend to be messy when it comes to unpacking.

Packing peanut manufacturers have attempted to bring new life into the packing peanut by creating different types. Made from cornstarch, biodegradable packaging peanuts dissolve in water to eliminate the amount of toxic waste. Another alternative is the paper peanuts, made of recycled paper items. Last but not least, anti-static loose fill packaging which is made of polystyrene, eliminate the static cling that was often found upon unpacking.

What can replace packing peanuts?

By utilizing new and improved protective packaging, the shipper and the recipient can receive a hassle free unpacking process. The following suggested replacements for protective packaging equipment and materials are versatile in application and can easily be applied into a packaging line.


An easily recyclable product but with less mess, a foam-in-place packaging system allows two liquid chemicals to merge together in a polyethylene bag. When it hardens from the exposure to air and the combination of chemicals, the foam will harden. It can also be molded around the product in the packaging for a more personalized fit. The versatility in densities with foam-in-place systems makes it a frontrunner in alternatives to packaging peanuts.

Inflatable Air Bags

This type of protective packaging is usually seen with professional shipment services and presents a clean, versatile option. Since they are made of light material, shipping costs do not rise because of weight. They are typically made up of polyethylene and are ideal for fast paced operations. The best part of inflatable air bags is that they are usually recyclable as well, making them a top-notch biodegradable packaging solution.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble Wrap is one of the most recognized protective packaging products on the market today. It provides excellent protection for shipping or storing fragile, breakable goods. Bubble Wrap air bubble film offers an economical solution for void filling, interleaving, wrapping and cushioning for a multitude of applications.

Protective Packaging with Hughes Enterprises

Hughes also offers 100% recycled polystyrene packaging – FLO-PAK and SUPER 8 – and BIO 8 cornstarch loose fill and PAPERplus paper dunnage which is made from 100% natural, recycled Kraft paper that can be used over and over.

At Hughes, we have all your packaging supplies and equipment to help you improve your production and shipping operations. Learn about the advantages of using protective packaging materials and equipment from Hughes today to see how we can offer you the total (protective) package.