Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Dissolving Styrofoam

We recently received a package in which the contents were packed with dissoluble styrofoam peanuts.  The box stated the styrofoam will dissolve when exposed to water.  We decided to test this claim out.  Here was our starting box.

Please ignore my deck that is in clear need of staining.  :-)  The boxes are clearly full of packing peanuts.  After a few minutes in a light rain the peanuts looked like this.

They haven't fully dissolved since they were only exposed to a light rain for a few minutes, but they have clearly dissolved to some degree.  Cool!  Well, cool until we start thinking about the environmental ramifications of packing peanuts.  Styrofoam is not environmentally friendly.  It fills landfills, takes a very long time to degrade.  Burning or breaking styrofoam can pollute the atmosphere.  

Does the same happen with these dissolving packing peanuts?  Honestly, I don't know.  They'll dissolve in a landfill when exposed to water, but as for any pollutants released in the process, I'm clueless.  I'm going to have to do some research on this one.  It's possible these dissolving packing peanuts are more harmful to the environment than standard packing peanuts that do not dissolve.  Hmm...I see a future post on this...in the future.  :-)

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