Foam peanuts, also known as packing peanuts and shipping peanuts, are common loose-fill packing materials which are also used to prevent damage to fragile objects during your move. They are shaped to interlock when compressed and free flow when not compressed. They are roughly the size and shape of a peanut in its shell and usually made of polystyrene.
An advantage of foam packing peanuts as a void-fill for moving is that they are very light and easy to use. Packing peanuts provide a layer of protection for your most delicate items, but they are better then other loose fill moving supplies in that they will fill in and form in empty areas in your moving boxes. Other packing supplies do fine as void-fill, but with little effort packing peanuts conveniently fill in any nook and cranny of your packing box.
According to Wikipedia, shipping peanuts were created and introduced in 1965 by Dow Chemical. Originally they were made from 100% virgin polystyrene resin, but in the early-1990s, a more environmentally friendly packaging material was developed. These peanuts are composed of materials that break down naturally after disposal into common elements such as carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Additionally, biodegradable packing peanuts have no static charge, which is another benefit over polystyrene. These biodegradable packing peanuts provides a green packing solution and they may be recycled at virtually any packing and shipping store.
From electronics to tools, from toys to everyday household supplies, packing peanuts fill every corner and keep your packed items from shifting during your move. Foam packing peanuts may be used and reused beyond moving purposes, sometimes to fill a bean bag chair or in a variety of crafts.