The History of Packing Peanuts
Packing peanuts were invented in 1965 by Dow Chemical.
What are Packing Peanuts and How are They Made?
There are two types of packing peanuts, those made from foam, and those made from starches like corn or grain sorghum. Polystyrene-based packed peanuts were invented in 1965 and have been used ever since. Polystyrene stuffing peanuts can be used over and over again and can be recycled at shipping stores around the world.
Robert E. Holden
The invention of packing peanuts is often attributed to Robert E. Holden; however, very little is known about the inventor. To facilitate the creation of the Styrofoam peanuts, Holden also invented an apparatus that would help to cut and expand plastic members through a steaming process. By feeding plastic strips through the device, it would create the foamy cellular structure that is the trademark of the classic Styrofoam peanuts. It also allowed the plastic to be created in such a way that it would interlock, providing a more secure shipping solution. Source: wikipedia.org
Ever since the early 1990s, corn starch has been increasingly used to form packing peanuts. These are more environmentally friendly as they can be dissolved in water. They are also non-toxic to humans and pets if accidentally ingested. The main drawback to these wadding peanuts though is that they are about twice as heavy, not as resilient, and cost a bit more.
Here’s a video showing how polystyrene is made:
Why Do We Need Packing Peanuts
Packing peanuts are a cheap, light, and increasingly environmentally-friendly way to protect fragile shipments.
It’s amazing to think that packaging peanuts were only invented 55 years ago when humans have been around for millions of years. Just look at some of the complex items that were invented before something as simple as a foam peanut.
Why Are Styrofoam Peanuts a Certain Color?
The color and shape of foam peanuts sometimes indicate what they are made of and who made them. Often a green color means they are made of 70% or possibly more recycled polystyrene, while white is 70% or more virgin (not recycled) resin, and pink peanuts have had an antistatic agent applied to them. This color-coding does, however, sometimes vary by company.
- Green Packing Peanuts = 70% or more recycled polystyrene
- White Packing Peanuts = 70% or more non-recycled polystyrene
- Pink Packing Peanuts = anti-static has been applied
Random Items Invented Before The Wonderful Styrofoam Peanut
- Piano (1709)
- Steamboat (1786)
- Lie detector (1921)
- 3-D movies (1922)
- Jet engine (1937)
- Microwave oven (1945)
- Credit cards (1950)
- Superglue (1951)
- The first computer video game (Spacewar! – 1962)
Random Items Invented Within a Year of Stuffing Peanuts
- BASIC (computer language)
- Acrylic paint
- Soft contact lenses
- Compact Disk
Most Popular Packing Peanuts Based On Sales
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Other Great Packing Peanut Options
StarBoxes Packing Peanuts Pink Anti Static – 3 cuft. Bag Ships Amazon Prime
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