Where would we be without packing peanuts and other packaging fillers? Your new Etsy mug would be in pieces, the Kindle you just bought would be cracked, and the customized cookies your mom mailed you would simply be crumbs.
Packaging fillers allow us to ship and store items safely. It’s important they protect the products in the package, are safe for the environment, and are easy in the storage and shipping processes.
Packing peanuts are widely used as packaging fillers, so let’s discuss some of the conveniences and inconveniences that come with using them.
Packing Peanuts Pros
Inexpensive — Packaging while staying within budget is the ultimate goal. Luckily, packing peanuts are fairly inexpensive and readily available.
Conformity — Due to the size and material of packing peanuts, they conform to the product they are packaging, meaning they serve as effective protection. Their size allows them to fill small spaces and protect every inch of the product.
Environmentally-Friendly Options — Packing peanuts made from corn starch or post-consumer foams are good alternatives to harmful materials like styrofoam. They are biodegradable and don’t release any toxins into the environment.
Packing Peanuts Cons
Not Environmentally Friendly — I know I just said packaging peanuts can be great because of their sustainability, but if we’re referring to styrofoam packing peanuts, the most widespread kind, they’re not exactly considered ‘green.’ They can’t be recycled and don’t break down easily, creating an environmental hazard.
Storage — Packing peanuts and other fillers are notoriously difficult to store. They take up a large amount of space, therefore making it harder and pricier to keep in storage.
Static — Although static might seem like a silly con to mention, packing peanuts are difficult to keep in place when they’re constantly attaching to other things. As a customer receiving a package or as an employee trying to package a product effectively, dealing with static can be frustrating.
Luckily, packing peanuts are far from the only packaging filler option. Alternatives allow us to pick and choose which materials and styles fit best with our items and brands.
Other Packaging Fillers and Their Pros and Cons
Air Pillows — Packaging fillers like inflatable air pillows provide more lightweight and easily storable options. Air pillows take up considerably less space than packing peanuts when stored, and they serve as lightweight and easy packaging.
Newspapers and Shredded Paper — Electing to pack items with old materials shows a commitment to recycling and reusing, which can be great for your company’s image. Used and designed well, newspapers and shredded paper may also serve as aesthetic additions to your package, showing off brand style.
On the other end, if not used effectively, they would appear unprofessional. Their unorganized appearance may cause a negative association with your brand image. The mess of packing and unpacking these materials, especially shredded paper, are a major downside.
Bubble Wrap — One of the most flexible and effective fillers is bubble wrap. It also is an inexpensive choice. On the downside, however, bubble wrap is not easily recycled, nor are there sustainable alternatives.
A Wrap-Up of Packaging Fillers
With a large variety of packaging fillers to choose from, it’s important to analyze what characteristics are important to you and your brand. Then, move on to choosing the right ones for you, pack them all up, and watch as your items are safely and effectively delivered.
Pioneer Packaging Custom Designs Product Packaging
For over 35 years, Pioneer Packaging has been the go-to source for designing product packaging that sells. Our creative designers work closely with you to ensure your brand is recognized for quality in packaging design and materials.
So whether you’re looking to get your paper product packaging at affordable prices or attract new consumers, we can create a design fit for you. We strive to keep costs down as much as possible to help our customers keep their brands moving along production lines.
Contact Pioneer Packaging today and learn why we’re a leader in packaging innovation.