Posted on July 24, 2008 by Dennis Salazar

Gasoline – Another Reason to Stop Using Polystyrene Loose Fill

Foam peanuts.

Image via Wikipedia

A big carbon footprint is an excellent reason to find a new inner packaging material, but not one that arouses passion in most of us. But $5 per gallon gasoline gets everyone’s juices flowing (no pun intended), and that’s another reason – perhaps the most compelling reason – why polystyrene packing peanuts are the wrong void fill material for 2008 and beyond.

Polystyrene packing peanuts are expensive to ship — in fact, considerably more expensive to ship than just about any alternative product on the market.

Peanuts are extremely bulky and lightweight, so freight carriers charge a premium to tote them around. I checked freights cost to ship 5 – 20 cubic foot bags, and the quotes ranged from $110 to $175. Whew! Freight surcharges are a healthy portion of the total, but those aren’t going away any time soon. Want to get a freight estimate for yourself? Use this Roadway freight calculator. Class is 250. Figure 4-5 lbs. per 20 cubic foot bag. You’ll be astounded.

Sustain Your Business with Sustainable Packaging

At $80 per barrel oil, freight costs represented a high percentage of the overall cost of packing peanuts. At $130/barrel oil, those costs are in cost-prohibitive territory.

Packing peanuts are unnecessarily wasteful in terms of diesel fuel consumption, considering the void filled by an entire truckload of them can be filled by a single pallet of inflatable air bag cushioning — like the new product we’ve just rolled out, Globe Guard Inflatable Air Pillows

"Globe Guard Air Pillow Void Fill"

(Click here or on the thumbnail for a closer look.)

Globe Guard™ air pillows are a unique sustainable packaging choice. Not only do they reduce transportation cost/fuel consumption, they are made from 100% recycled material and are easy to recycle. Although oil prices are dipping as of this writing, the long term trend is UP …

Is it time to de-peanut your business?

Here’s more on the many drawbacks of packing peanuts.