I'll bet almost everyone reading this post has dealt with packing peanuts, you know, the white, seemingly lighter then air chaff that flies all over the place when 1. you unpack the thing you ordered and 2, said peanuts fly all over the place when you try to put them in the trash because they cannot be recycled, until now.
Although packing peanuts are used worldwide as a perfect solution for shipping, they are notoriously difficult to break down, and only about 10 percent are recycled," Pol said. "Due to their low density, huge containers are required for transportation and shipment to a recycler, which is expensive and does not provide much profit on investment."
Consequently, packing peanuts often end up in landfills, where they remain intact for decades. Although the starch-based versions are more environmentally friendly than the polystyrene peanuts, they do contain chemicals and detergents that can contaminate soil and aquatic ecosystems, posing a threat to marine animals, he said.
The new method "is a very simple, straightforward approach," Pol said. "Typically, the peanuts are heated between 500 and 900 degrees Celsius in a furnace under inert atmosphere in the presence or absence of a transition metal salt catalyst."
Sounds like a plan to me. Now all we need are recycling centers that will bag up the peanuts and ship them off to become part of better and cheaper batteries while helping to protect the environment. :)