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HomeNewsArchivesPUT THOSE PLASTIC PEANUTS BACK TO WORK

PUT THOSE PLASTIC PEANUTS BACK TO WORK

Dec. 12, 2001 – Along with all those mail-order gifts that arrive during the holiday season comes a flurry of styrofoam peanuts.
"I was driving past Paul M. Pearson Gardens last night, and the road was lined with them," Scott Martin said Wednesday. "It looked like snowflakes."
Pretty, perhaps; but the problem is they don't melt.
Martin said people throw cardboard boxes filled with the plastic peanuts into trash bins, the box tops come open, and at the slightest breeze, the peanuts take flight.
For Martin, who owns Caribbean Packaging, the styrofoam pieces are more than a passing concern. He sees them as a litter problem but also as easily recycled material — and offers a solution. He takes in unwanted peanuts and gives them away to anyone who stops by his company at 9B Contant on St. Thomas.
"We leave them right by the door" for people who can use them, he said, adding that styrofoam is one of the easiest materials to re-use .
Caribbean Packaging is located behind the Texaco station near Cyril E. King Airport. It's open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Geraldine Smith, executive director for St. Thomas-St. John of the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission, said that reusing the peanuts keeps them out of the landfills. That's good, she added, because the styrofoam does not degrade and remains intact indefinitely. "This extends the landfill's life," she said.
Smith also said if people re-use styrofoam peanuts, manufacturers will make less of them, which will save natural resources.
Martin got involved in this aspect of recycling when he joined the Plastic Loose Fill Council. Consumers can call the council's Peanut Hotline at (800) 828-2214 for locations where styrofoam peanuts can be taken. The hotline gets about 5,000 calls a month.
While Caribbean Packaging is the only Virgin Islands company listed on the Peanut Hotline, other local businesses such as mail services and small manufacturers re-use packaging materials. If you've got unwanted peanuts, bubble wrap and boxes you'd like to see recycled, ask around to see if a company will take them.
The Plastic Loose Fill Council was founded in 1991 by major U.S. manufacturers of styrofoam peanuts to promote their re-use. According the council, manufacturers make about 45 million pounds of loose fill a year.
While companies such as Caribbean Packaging provide a way to re-use the peanuts, major mail-order retailers such as Williams-Sonoma include information in their shipments that urges customers to take the material somewhere that it can be re-used. The company's information includes the Peanut Hotline number.

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Dec. 12, 2001 - Along with all those mail-order gifts that arrive during the holiday season comes a flurry of styrofoam peanuts.
"I was driving past Paul M. Pearson Gardens last night, and the road was lined with them," Scott Martin said Wednesday. "It looked like snowflakes."
Pretty, perhaps; but the problem is they don't melt.
Martin said people throw cardboard boxes filled with the plastic peanuts into trash bins, the box tops come open, and at the slightest breeze, the peanuts take flight.
For Martin, who owns Caribbean Packaging, the styrofoam pieces are more than a passing concern. He sees them as a litter problem but also as easily recycled material -- and offers a solution. He takes in unwanted peanuts and gives them away to anyone who stops by his company at 9B Contant on St. Thomas.
"We leave them right by the door" for people who can use them, he said, adding that styrofoam is one of the easiest materials to re-use .
Caribbean Packaging is located behind the Texaco station near Cyril E. King Airport. It's open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Geraldine Smith, executive director for St. Thomas-St. John of the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission, said that reusing the peanuts keeps them out of the landfills. That's good, she added, because the styrofoam does not degrade and remains intact indefinitely. "This extends the landfill's life," she said.
Smith also said if people re-use styrofoam peanuts, manufacturers will make less of them, which will save natural resources.
Martin got involved in this aspect of recycling when he joined the Plastic Loose Fill Council. Consumers can call the council's Peanut Hotline at (800) 828-2214 for locations where styrofoam peanuts can be taken. The hotline gets about 5,000 calls a month.
While Caribbean Packaging is the only Virgin Islands company listed on the Peanut Hotline, other local businesses such as mail services and small manufacturers re-use packaging materials. If you've got unwanted peanuts, bubble wrap and boxes you'd like to see recycled, ask around to see if a company will take them.
The Plastic Loose Fill Council was founded in 1991 by major U.S. manufacturers of styrofoam peanuts to promote their re-use. According the council, manufacturers make about 45 million pounds of loose fill a year.
While companies such as Caribbean Packaging provide a way to re-use the peanuts, major mail-order retailers such as Williams-Sonoma include information in their shipments that urges customers to take the material somewhere that it can be re-used. The company's information includes the Peanut Hotline number.