Cornstarch Packing Peanuts
A Public Radio Commentary by Bill Hammack:
My wife and I got a package in the mail that fascinated me. I don't even recall its contents, because I was taken with the the green packing peanuts used to protect whatever it was from damage. As I scooped up the pellets to toss them in the trash, my wife said, with a very knowing voice, "Just toss them on the compost pile." What! Plastic in the compost? No. She showed me a slip of paper that explained: There was no "plastic or polluting gases" used to make these peanuts; they were made of cornstarch.
Toss them on your compost pile or spread them on your lawn and with a bit of water they'll dissolve in minutes. These cornstarch packing peanuts are part of a movement called "green engineering."
It's a design philosophy where the environment is explicitly considered from the beginning: A goal is to find processes and products which are feasible and economical while minimizing pollution at the very beginning. These cornstarch packing peanuts are the work of food engineer Bill Stoll.
Read more at http://www.engineerguy.com/comm/3294.htm and at http://itotd.com/articles/540/biodegradable-plastic/
Available online at $18 to $25 for 12 cu. ft. at a variety of sources including Uline.