Open almost any Lush gift or package and you’ll see products nestled into what look like packing peanuts. But unlike your typical packing peanuts, this material has been carefully selected to minimize our impact on the environment. So, what exactly is it?
In our early days, we used popcorn as a packaging material because it was natural, compostable and a lot of fun: diving into your gift felt like a trip to the movies! We would buy and receive the popcorn in compact, unpopped form, minimizing its bulk and our transportation-related emissions too. Popcorn was great, until we realized that we could do even better.
Plant-based packing peanuts
We found a compostable packing peanut made from a starch-based material that’s more efficient than popcorn in two ways: it takes 23% less energy than popcorn to produce, and one ton of starch will produce 7.5 times more packing material than one ton of kernels. To make these pillowy nuggets, vegetable starch is mixed with water and processed under high pressure and heat, transforming it into the material you find in our gifts.
This material's also easy to dispose of without contributing to landfills because it’s 100% biodegradable in both water and soil. According to studies conducted by Brunel University and the University of Humberside, our plant-based packaging even does a better job of keeping products secure and protected against impact than packing material made of polystyrene—better known as the brand name Styrofoam.
Reuse and repurpose
Once you’ve plucked your products out of their package, there are a few things you can do with your packing peanuts. Reuse them to keep products safe until you’re ready to use them: just scoop a handful into a spare box, drawer or makeup bag before nestling your products in for later use. Or if you’re feeling crafty, experiment with it as a new material on your next project. If you want to dispose of it, simply add it to your compost.
Using biodegradable packaging is just one of the ways that we try to minimize our impact on the environment. To learn more about our packaging or sustainability efforts, visit a Lush store or call our customer care team at 1-888-733-5874.