Yes, we do use “peanuts” as packing material in our boxes.  But these are “peanuts” with a difference.

Regular packing peanuts are made of Expanded Polystyrene or EPS.  According to “In 2006, the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers reported that 56 million pounds of EPS were recycled that year alone. That’s an astonishing amount considering that EPS is 98 percent air.  Here’s the thing: Even if your community recycles plastic #6, it may not accept EPS. It’s a similar case to the plastic bag conundrum, where different versions of plastics require separate recycling streams.  Because it’s so lightweight, EPS takes up 0.01 percent of the total municipal solid waste stream by weight, but as you may have guessed, its volume is a greater problem than its weight. It takes up space in landfills and doesn’t biodegrade.”

Shipping materials in landfills are always a concern and sourcing the “greenest” products out there is one of our missions here at Tipu’s Chai.  So we were really excited to find biodegradable peanuts!  They are made of “static-free” organic starch and, according to the company we buy them from, they “decompose in water leaving no toxic waste”.  So not only will they not stick to everything in sight when you open your box of Tipu’s Chai, they will melt if you throw them away.

The boxes we ship in are made of corrugated cardboard and should break down flat quite easily (since they come to us that way) for recycling.

Of course, we always encourage you to reuse if you can.  So save them to repack your Christmas presents to Granny!

Next week a little blog about our packaging.

  • Posted by Varada


A few years ago, one of our vendors claimed to have started using biodegradable starch packing peanuts, so we tested some and they were the same plastic everyone else was using.For some reason that really annoyed us.We dropped them a letter letting them know the results of our testing, and further letting them know that we had several of their packing peanuts floating in a jar full of water sitting in the sun in one of our office windows, and would order from them again as soon as the peanuts biodegraded

Posted by Sheila at April 22 2012

Thanks for that story, Sheila!  I don’t blame you for being annoyed!  But, I can attest first hand that these are the real deal.  Last week I broke a bottle of our chai concentrate on the floor and there were a few peanuts that got wet.  They completely disintegrated!  So I am confident about these.  Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Posted by Varada at April 23 2012

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