Packing Peanuts

Alternative ways to recycle
IGB Lab Special Instructions Special Instructions


Polystyrene peanuts, often used for packaging, are difficult to recycle but easy to reuse. Place unwanted polystyrene peanuts into special bins labeled for this material in Shipping & Receiving (Room 265) labeled Foam Peanuts to be recycled/reused. You can find a list of more locations here.

Once the bins are full, custodians pull the bags and Transportation Services takes the peanuts to Shipping/Receiving (Building 69) where they are reused in packages shipped from LBNL.

If your building does not have a peanut collection bin you, can either: 1) submit a Transportation Move Request (indicate that it’s a recycle pickup); or 2) email them at [email protected]. Please ensure that the peanuts are enclosed in a box or bag so they don’t fly away. If you generate enough peanuts on a regular basis to warrant a bin, please contact your Building Manager or  [email protected].

TIP: Double-check your package to ensure that you have retrieved all items before emptying the peanuts into the bins.


Packing Peanuts Are Not Reyclable

Packing peanuts, which are made from plastic #6, never biodegrade. Because they are so light, they are also difficult to contain. They often fly out of the trash as well as landfills, contaminating the environment.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

home for foam

Recycle With Home for Foam

Visit Home for Foam to see if there is a foam recycler in your area. These recyclers will accept many foam products, including styrofoam packaging. Find out more.

styrofoam accepted by EPS

Recycle With EPS

Send your styrofoam peanuts and hard packaging to EPS Industry Alliance Packaging, which offers a styrofoam recycling alternative. Find a drop off location or mail in clean styrofoam packaging to the nearest collection facility.