If you have recently started to ship more products out of your business warehouse, then you may need to start thinking about some solutions to your shipping concerns. For example, you may desire to streamline the process to make shipping easier. If your products vary in size, shape, and weight, then it may be hard to decide on a single type of packing material that will work well for all your shipping needs. Packing peanuts can be used to fill all sorts of voids. However, the peanuts do tend to cling to boxes, themselves, and your workers. This can be a real issue if you are trying to work quickly to get things shipped out. Keep reading to learn how to keep static concerns at bay.
Buy The Right Type of Peanuts
One of the reasons why you may be having issues with your packing peanuts is the simple fact that you may have purchased the wrong type for your needs. There are several different kinds of peanuts that you can buy. These include polystyrene peanuts. These are the most common general-use peanuts, which appear white, beige, or green in color. The peanuts may be thick and oblong varieties, or they may be figure-8 peanuts.
While the general-use polystyrene peanuts can work well, they do become electrically charged quite easily. Polystyrene is a plastic material that draws electrons from objects that come into contact with it. This creates a negative charge across the surface of the peanuts. Once the peanuts become negatively charged, they repel and push away from one another.
While other types of plastics can create the same sort of static electricity, it is highly noticeable when it comes to packing peanuts. Simply put, the peanuts are so lightweight that the static electricity becomes strong enough to cause the peanuts to cling on clothing, boxes, and other objects. You may experience the same thing with a balloon that has been rubbed against clothing. If the balloon were filled with water instead of air, then the exterior would still becomes electrically charged, but the charge would not be strong enough to counteract the weight of the water in the balloon.
Packing peanuts are lightweight for a reason. You do not want them to add weight when shipping an item. This means that making them heavier is not a good solution. However, the peanuts can be covered in an anti-static agent that helps eliminate the buildup of static across the surface of the polystyrene. This coating is one that allows the peanuts to be used when shipping electronics. The peanuts are a bit more expensive than the general-use type of peanuts.
You can also buy peanuts that naturally do not retain a static charge. Biodegradable peanuts made from soy or wheat products are a good choice. Keep in mind that these peanuts do disintegrate when exposed to any water, so you might want to opt for the anti-static polystyrene varieties if there is any sort of water or fluid that may come into contact with the peanuts.
Keep Your Facility Moist
There are certain conditions that can cause packing peanuts to build a strong static charge. Dry air is one thing that can contribute greatly to the buildup of static electricity. When the air is moist, water molecules can form a very thin layer of moisture on objects. These molecules prevent the buildup of negative electrons that cause the static electricity.
If it is overly dry in your business, then make sure to place one or several humidifiers in the space. This can easily stop the peanuts from sticking when they are placed in boxes. If your business is over 1,000 square feet, then opt for a large, console model. Make sure to purchase a cool mist model if you can. This can help you to retain an environment that is comfortably moist. Warm-air humidifiers can create a stuffy environment that may be unpleasant for your workers.
For additional information and advice, contact a company that specializes in custom packaging.