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smokensqueal
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dissolvable packing peanuts

Just wondering what everyone's thought is on those dissolvable packing peanuts? Since the are a starched base do you put them in your compost? I've read a few places that if the dissolve with water alone then they are fine to put in to your compost. And so would the be considered a Green or Brown?

sweet thunder
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I've thrown them in the compost with no problems. They seem to dissolve quickly. Because they dissolve into such a small amount of material, I've never really worried about whether they were green or brown. My gut says brown, but I'm not sure.

opabinia51
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I would assume that they would be a brown, starches don't have much nitrogen in them. They also have plastic spoons now that are made from corn starch which are compostable.
Feed the soil, not the plants.

rot
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I'm waiting

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I'd love to hear what others have to say. I think bio-degradable plastic is still v1.0 technology and I don't quite trust it yet.

Are those peanuts 100 percent organics or are there still being plastics used in those things so they don't break down while still in use?

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gixxerific
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I'm with rot on this. Sure they are made of starch but what else might be in them, like what would be used for a bonding agent.

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gixxerific
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Did some research and found this.

[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foam_peanut]From Wikipedia[/url]
Being biodegradable and nontoxic, they are also safe for humans and pets to ingest accidentally. However, they are not produced in food-safe conditions, and are not recommended for eating. Also, during the manufacturing process, the nutritional value is removed from starch-based packing peanuts. This removes edible components, such as sugars, that would otherwise attract rodents and bugs.
So they may be biodegradable but they may not have much if any actual boost for a compost pile.

[url=https://www.engineerguy.com/comm/3294.htm]Bill Hammack on Cornstarch Peanuts[/url]
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.
It appears from this that they should be safe.

[url=https://itotd.com/articles/540/biodegradable-plastic/]Joe Kissle's take on the matter[/url]
Natural Wonders
The thing is, this is generally not in the nature (so to speak) of synthetic polymers. The interesting solutions, therefore, are largely to be found in biopolymers, a class of materials that look, feel, and act like the plastics we all know and love, but which, owing to their natural sources, can also serve as food for bacteria. Products made directly from cornstarch, other starches, or cellulose certainly fit that description. And such materials, which are used not only for packing peanuts but for things like fast-food containers, do show a great deal of promise. But if you’re looking for something bacteria might like to eat, how about the food they make themselves?

Many different kinds of bacteria (and other organisms, for that matter) create a substance known as polyhydroxybutyrate, or PHB, that they store as an energy source in much the same way humans store fat. PHB, it turns out, is a rather versatile plastic. It can be produced in quantity quite quickly simply by feeding sugar to the right kinds of bacteria in what amounts to a fermentation process; it can also be produced by genetically modified plants (including a type of potato). Because it is, in fact, a bacterial food product, it’s completely biodegradable. Another often-mentioned biopolymer is polylactic acid, or PLA, made from lactic acid—which, in turn, is produced by the fermentation of cornstarch.
This sounds promising though it also make you think about what the future has in store for us. Even better biodegradable products across the board. Wouldn't that be nice, I suggest if you have an interest in this you at least read then entire story by Kissel.

The Helpful Gardener
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Corn or rice for the most part; I ate one once to freak a bunch of folks out (I have had worse snack foods masquerading as actual food :lol: ).

Opa's right; starch is brown...

HG
Scott Reil

opabinia51
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Yes, there is absolutely no N in starch. Oxygen and carbon. So that would definitely be a brown. Your basic formula for simple carbohydrates including starch (as a monomer) is C6H12O6.

See what the structure looks like here:

https://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/547cellulose.html
Feed the soil, not the plants.

The Helpful Gardener
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SO knock out the carbon bond and you have water...


Lovely, no chemical side effects...

HG
Scott Reil

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smokensqueal
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Thanks everyone on their replies. While searching more on this topic I found that not all biodegradable objects are the same. Many of the biodegradable bags that are starting to become popular do in fact degrade but they are still made out of chemicals that are meant to break down. BUT things that are made out of starch are also considered biodegradable and do not have chemicals in them.

So moral of the story is that not all biodegradable objects are "good" You want to use the ones that are made out of starches.

rot
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