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Are Packing Peanuts Recyclable?

Are packing peanuts recyclable

Yes, contrary to popular belief, packing peanuts ARE recyclable.

… it’s just not easy to do.  Foam packing peanuts or packing “noodles” are usually made from polystyrene (also known as plastic #6) which is not always accepted by curbside municipal programs. Visit to find out if your local recycling program accepts Styrofoam peanuts or to find a local drop off center.

In more recent years biodegradable packing peanuts have entered the market.  These packing peanuts are made from starches (such as corn starch and sorghum).  In order to determine if your peanuts are made from styrofoam or starch, place them in water.  Starch-based peanuts will dissolve. 

Make sure to reuse your packing peanuts as many times as possible before disposing of them in any way. Their standard use is as a packaging cushion, but you can also use them for crafts (like the dinosaur below!), hydroponic gardening, and more.