Hughes Enterprises

Bye Bye Peanuts: Types of Void Fill

Something as simple as a business’ protective packaging choices can greatly influence a consumer’s first impression of both the item shipped and the company itself. If an order arrives damaged at the buyer’s door, that customer relationship will also be damaged. Therefore, finding the right void fill is an important decision. In light of San Francisco’s recent ban on packing peanuts, considered the nation’s most extensive ban, we thought it would be good to address the subject of alternative void fill options once again.

The Troubles with Styrofoam

Bans on Styrofoam have become more common (and controversial) in cities all over the United States. Styrofoam (with a capital ‘S’) is a trademarked brand of polystyrene products used primarily for insulation and craft applications. With a lower case ‘s’, the word is used generically to refer to disposable coffee cups, lunch boxes and padding for packaging. They are produced via different chemical processes, with Styrofoam coming from extruded polystyrene, and styrofoam coming from expanded polystyrene.

The US Environmental Protection Agency considers polystyrene a possible carcinogenic, meaning it could potentially cause cancer, it additionally causes large environmental and waste concerns. In light of these controversies, some US cities have outlawed the use of foam take-out containers, notably San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. Last year, New York City implemented a similar ban (though the ban was overturned in favor of a plan to ensure the products could be recycled).

Alternative Void Fill Options

Hughes offers many biodegradable packing solutions and alternatives to Styrofoam and shipping peanuts. Pregis protective packaging solutions, for example, come in a variety of material choices such as air, paper and foam.

Pregis Air Speed HC is an alternative Void Fill. Pregis AirSpeed

Pregis AirSpeed® inflatable systems offer air filled, bubble protective packaging on demand. The film takes up less than 1% of the space as it does when air is filled to form protective air pillows or cushions. This makes it a smart space saving alternative to standard protective packaging materials like loose-fill peanuts.

Pregis Paper Packaging Systems

The Pregis GeoSpeed® Quantum™ sets a new standard for modular work station paper packaging that is unmatched by competitive systems. Most commonly used for motor vehicle components, electronic products, medical supplies, pharmaceuticals and other mail order goods.

Pregis Foam-In Place

Foam-in-place polyurethane is molded in real-time by combining two liquid foams in a pre-fabricated mold, high density polyethylene (HDPE) bag or film. The mixture expands rapidly around the product being protected, creating a custom protective shell. The intuitive equipment design and responsive controls simplify the packaging process, reduce cost and increase productivity.

Void Fill Solutions from Hughes

As shipping solutions continue to evolve (along with the retail landscape), it’s important that businesses continue to seek out the right void fill options that will positively impact their bottom line. Hughes Enterprises has differentiated itself in the market from suppliers who offer a product and a price, as a partner we offer a solution. For more information or to order your company’s protective packaging products, contact a Hughes sales representative for assistance.

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