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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Biodegradable Packaging

StarchTech, Inc.
720 Florida Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55426

(800) 597-7225 (PACK)

What does the term "Biodegradable" mean?

The term "Biodegradable" means that the materials used can be broken down into common elements such as carbon, oxygen and hydrogen.

StarchTech's biodegradable packing peanuts are comprised of starch and biodegradable polymers. It is this unique combination of ingredients that allows this product to be broken down by natural means, meeting even European environmental standards.

Learn more about the benefits of using StarchTech's biodegradable packaging.

What does it mean to be sustainable?

Products, processes or developments that are sustainable means they meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. From the corn fields to the box that arrived at your home filled with an environmentally friendly packaging material, StarchTech's packaging material will do it's part to protect the options available to future generations.

What is Greenwashing?

Many of our customers have environmental initiatives for which they’re responsible and they’re looking to us to help weed through the “Green Washing” that exists today. So, what is "Green Washing"? Multiple sources define it as the following:

Greenwashing: the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefit of a product or service.

With the wide variety of "biodegradable" products available today, focusing on a couple of key concepts can help both you and your customers determine the best product to meet your environmental initiatives, as well as your protective packaging needs.

Find out more about Greenwashing and how StarchTech is helping customers meet their "Green" initiatives.

Where does the starch come from?

StarchTech's Mighty I loosefill packing material, made from our ReNew Resin, is made with an industrial grade corn starch grown in the Midwestern region of the United States. StarchTech uses over 13,000,000 pounds of corn starch annually, however, with millions of metric tons of corn produced worldwide (now that's a lot of corn!), our needs seem small.

Find out more about starch, its uses and how StarchTech works to decrease our dependence on foreign products.

Is biodegradable packaging a viable alternative to polystyrene packaging?

Yes! Biodegradable packing peanuts out-perform polystyrene loose fill packaging in crush tests, providing a more resilient cushioning product. Typical polystyrene-based foam packaging tends to migrate or snap within a box when pressed under the weight of a product.

See how they compare in crush test performance results.

StarchTech's Mighty I biodegradable packing peanuts have a unique "I" shape that lets them interlock and flex to cushion around a product and to stay put under pressure. This unique feature keeps your product from shifting during transit.

Can starch-based packing peanuts be used for shipping anti-static devices which require ESD Packaging Materials?

Yes! StarchTech's biodegradable packing peanuts work exceptionally well for products requiring static-free protective ESD packaging materials. They also provide superior performance for all sizes and shapes of products, making electronic devices an especially "good fit" for packaging with starch peanuts.

Can these peanuts be reused?

Yes! These peanuts can be reused again and again and composted or washed away with a little water when they are no longer needed.

How should I dispose of Biodegradable Packing Material?

Tomorrow's world depends on what we throw away today! This packaging material can be disposed of with a clear conscience.

Here are some options for disposal of your starch-based loose fill packing peanuts.

Will these packing peanuts attract bugs or rodents?

No. In the early stages of the manufacturing process, the sugars and any food value are removed from the starch used to produce the peanuts, which eliminates the materials that are attractive to pests.

Are these peanuts edible?

StarchTech does not recommend eating our biodegradable packing peanuts. Our ingredients are primarily starch-based, and our peanuts may resemble a cheese puff snack product (even the machine on which they are manufactured is the same type of machine), however, they are not manufactured under food-grade quality conditions and, therefore, are not meant for human or pet consumption.