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What to do with biodegradable packing peanuts

 
Jan White
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I hate it when people send me stuff with packing peanuts.

These ones are apparently made out of potato starch, but I doubt they'd break down in a home compost. I've got maybe 4L of the things. I suppose I could try growing some mushrooms in them.

Any other suggestions for using them? I don't want to  hang on to them to use as packing material next time I mail something cause that's just passing the problem on, and whoever gets them will probably just throw them in the garbage anyway.
 
C. Letellier
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If it is the starch based ones I get in here they melt away in water.  And the residue should be good worm food.  Try simply dipping them in water.  In about 15 minutes they should have melted into it.
 
Jan White
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Oh wow! I immediately stuck one in water and it started to dissolve right away. While I typed that sentence it almost disappeared. This is great. I can work with this :)
 
Alder Burns
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I just throw them to my chickens!  What they don't eat they scratch up and they vanish into the litter and compost there.
 
Pearl Sutton
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I had a cat who thought they were tasty. If you look at the ingredients, they are basically puffed cheetos without the orange stuff.  Mac thought they were excellent.  Mac ate a lot of weird stuff :)
 
John Wolfram
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I had a cat who thought they were tasty. If you look at the ingredients, they are basically puffed cheetos without the orange stuff.  Mac thought they were excellent.  Mac ate a lot of weird stuff :)


They are non-toxic, but also not food-grade, so basically they are almost always fine to eat, but the manufacturer is not going to reject a lot if something weird happened to fall in the vat when they were making them. At an old job of mine, there was a guy who would eat the corn starch packaging peanuts.  Of course, since this guy didn't die we all wanted to try them as well. They are basically cheetos, but with all the flavor of those god-awful plain puffed rice cakes.
 
Jan White
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I just assumed they were like the biodegradable takeout containers from potato starch and wouldn't break down easily. Guess I should have done a bit of research :D

We had lots of rain yesterday so I just chucked them in the garden. Just a few little specks of white still showing.
 
Jan White
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John Wolfram wrote:. They are basically cheetos, but with all the flavor of those god-awful plain puffed rice cakes.



Haha I love the flavour of plain puffed rice! When we got cereal as an occasional treat as kids I always picked the big bag of plain puffed wheat.
 
C. Letellier
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Be aware there is a foamed poly one that looks very similar to the starch ones.  It doesn't dissolve.  If you are paying attention you can easily recognize it.  usually it is clean bright white or pink while the starch ones are sort of tan to yellowish.  Most of the poly ones that look somewhat like the starch ones that I get in are pink for use around electronics.  So don't just assume that because it looks like a foam noodle that it is a starch one.  The easiest test is drop one in water if there is a question.  One floats and the other one dissolves.
 
Louise Steele
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I work with kids and have used starch based packing peanuts to make sculptures in art lessons. Dip the ends in a little water or wet them on your toungue, touch them togethet and they stick. They're shaped similar to limbs so they make good  people sculptures. Loads of fun!
 
Tom Scar
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I melted several dozen together with some heat and water to make a thick syrup which I used to glue two pieces of wood together.  That must have been 25 years ago and the joint is still solid.
 
C West
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Tom - I must know more!!!
I get a ton of these made from GM corn.  Melt them down to glue is the best option I've heard. I assume the glue remains water soluble so is only good for dry applications.  Do you have any experience with using this for outdoor projects like chicken coop construction?
 
Nicole Alderman
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My brother used to eat them. And not just as a way to freak people out, but as a snack. At the time, he said they were like unseasoned cheetoes. I mean, they are just puffed corn.

I'm pretty sure he doesn't eat them any more, as he avoids GMO foods, and I'm sure the packaging peanuts are made with the worst of corn.

But, there were no immediate negative effects from him eating them, I'd say they would be fine for compost or even chickens, as long as you aren't too worried about pesticide/herbicide residue on the corn.
 
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