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Old 08-29-2008, 09:58 PM
 
Location: South
1,405 posts, read 893,989 times
Reputation: 6799
Default Popcorn as packing material?

I mail a lot of packages and today while at the post office the clerk suggested using air-popped popcorn instead of styrofoam peanuts.

I don't know about this. I mean I love the idea because there's no waste at all. Receive the package and throw the packing material to the birds.

But how would you feel receiving a really nice gift stuffed in food? It's air popped, of course, so there's no salt or grease but it's still food.

And what about the smell?

Anyone have suggestions how to make it not smell like popcorn?
Or just other green ideas to use for non-smelly packing material?
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:22 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,555,100 times
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I've heard of this. If it's a business situation (not mailing gifts to family or whatever), then I would only do it if the customer agreed beforehand, and I would still protect the item (with a plastic bag or similar) from the popcorn smell. I considered doing this when I sold on eBay years ago, but never actually did it because most of what I sold was clothing so it wasn't a big deal.. I didn't ship much in the way of fragile items.

Personally I wouldn't mind at all, were I to be on the receiving end. I HATE Styrofoam peanuts for many many reasons and would be just fine with AIR popped popcorn. It'd be cheaper too.
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Old 08-30-2008, 12:55 AM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
5,235 posts, read 7,109,199 times
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I remember my parents getting a package filled with popcorn a long time ago. Think I was 10or 11, not for sure. Always been a big popcorn fan, but I didn't know about that. Dad let the birds enjoy it! lol
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:33 AM
 
Location: In my house
8,783 posts, read 14,730,332 times
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If i used popcorn to send my Mom a gift, she would eat it all up. lol
She's very frugal, so free popcorn as packing material is food in her mind.
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Old 08-30-2008, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Cheshire, UK
309 posts, read 659,612 times
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I have seen it used. Not a bad idea and it works just as good as the other packaging materials.
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Maine
498 posts, read 1,073,941 times
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wouldn't popcorn get crushed during transportation allowing the item packed to shift around? Especially if it is a heavy item?

Do we really want to use food for this type of item? Food has already gone up price wise largely due to corn being used as a gas additive. Seems silly to me.
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Old 08-30-2008, 08:59 AM
 
Location: South
1,405 posts, read 893,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfax1997 View Post
wouldn't popcorn get crushed during transportation allowing the item packed to shift around? Especially if it is a heavy item?

Do we really want to use food for this type of item? Food has already gone up price wise largely due to corn being used as a gas additive. Seems silly to me.
Yeah, that's what I thought too. Getting crushed and there's the price of food and the shortage of corn, period. I suppose given all the factors that it's not really that green of an idea anymore.

Thanks everybody for your responses.

Anyone have any ideas about what would be green besides just re-using received packing material?
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,355 posts, read 3,794,087 times
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There are some starch packing peanuts. They are white and shaped like cylinders instead of S-shaped. They are biodegradable and dissolve in water. They work fairly well for light things but not for heavy things. When they get crushed they don't break apart but they flatten out and don't regain their shape.

Also, if the package gets wet they can get the goods inside sticky.
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:19 AM
 
18,952 posts, read 21,365,619 times
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I have received items that have air-filled bags around them. I deflate the bag and take it to the store along with my other plastic bags from shopping and drop it in the recycle barrel.

I've always though wadded up newspaper was a great packing material.
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:38 AM
 
145 posts, read 204,989 times
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I'm concerned that popcorn would attract animals.
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