How can I reuse or recycle … foam packing ‘peanuts’?

Packing foam peanutsA few years ago, a neighbour of ours decided to make it ‘snow’ in her front garden by spreading from packing foam all over the place. Then, thoughtfully, she didn’t brush it up after Christmas and instead left it to get blown by the wind until the whole street was covered.

I bring this up now because we found half a dozen of the little gems in the compost heap yesterday and it enraged me anew.

So any suggestions what my neighbour could have done with the foam instead of “decorating” our street?

(Photo by Daino_16)

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25 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … foam packing ‘peanuts’?”

  1. dotCompost says:

    I put a few in the bottom of a large flower pot or plant container – it reduces the amount of compost I need, and the pot is a little lighter with less soil.

  2. Niki says:

    Here in California you can find the small shipping stores, like Mail Boxes Etc. (some now called The UPS Store) that have boxes for dumping your used peanuts. They can reuse them instead of buying new peanuts. You get rid of your peanuts and they save some money.

  3. Jory says:

    ebay seller would LOVE free or cheap popcorn! I was just at staples, and a small bag of it was selling for $10.00!

    • Betty C says:

      Send me your address and I will ocassionally send you some packing materials. I do a lot of online ordering.

  4. Use them yourself for packing material. You dont have to shred up paper, and you can use them along with airbag packaging

  5. Cadan ap Tomos says:

    Remarkable ( use them to make biros. Send them to them and they might give you money for them.

  6. Joan says:

    offer them on freecycle – someone always need to pack something

  7. sandy says:

    you could string them up and paint then for christmas garland.

  8. ExpandOS says:

    The best thing to do is not to use Packing Peanuts at all. Check out a 100% environmentally product called ExpandOS that not only works like a peanut, but actually protects whatever you are shipping.

  9. renee says:

    bean bag and pillow stuffing!

    • woohoo50 says:

      packing peanuts can be used to stuff beanbag chairs as well. Not a difficult project for anyone with old sheets or blankets and a sewing machine.

  10. You can also make a fantastic lamp with them!
    As Mollie did in her apartment (instructions included in English)
    My post (in French) with all the links


  11. Ruti says:

    Schools use these a lot too for random crafts – makes good hair for paper plate faces.

    Or, if you’re in a hawian mode, string them into a long necklace to welcome folks : )

    I think they also get used as garlands too. Not sure if they can stand up to gold spray paint though – it might dissolve them. How about encouraging the companies to switch to natural popcorn (this can also be scented with essential oils) it makes great packing!

  12. ed says:

    I’ve made small igloos with the packing foam peanuts (on an 8″x8″ cardboard). Glue peanuts in a circle using lots of glue. Let them dry for a day then use tooth picks like sishkabobs to build from the base to make the walls. Slant the walls toward the middle leaving a hole in the top.

  13. angela says:

    There’s a reason they call this stuff ghost poop! I really like the ones made of cornstarch, water melts them away. I have used them for drainage in pots and just for mailing things.

  14. Fiona says:

    I am going to spray some gold and silver for an Egyptian themed New Year party and mixed with the gold chocolate coins will be great as treasure.

  15. HuntingWabbits says:

    I once saw a kindergarten teacher do this and I thought it was brilliant. She made little snowmen and had the children bring in hats and scarves to decorate them.
    Fill a plaint white plastic shopping bag 3/4 with white packing peanuts and tie the top. Squeeze/twist it in half and then tie the twisted part to make a separation of the head and body. Tape down the corners at the bottom so they are round. Add pipe cleaner arms and decorate with buttons, hats, more peanuts, etc.

  16. Bedding for small animals?

    don’t know if they’d try and eat it though.


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