- Michigan Office Solutions (MOS), a subsidiary of Xerox Co., is investing in biodegradable packaging as an alternative to peanuts, which it is purchasing from Michigan-based RNS Packaging. MOS, which ships more than 350 packages daily from its Grand Rapids warehouse, will use the "FunPak Packaging," made from a patented cornstarch, for its loose fill protective packaging of breakables.
- RNS Founder Rich Daniels came up with this biodegradable alternative to bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, and other toxic packaging after his dog ate packaging peanuts and nearly died. FunPak will break down before it even reaches a landfill and does not harm waterways, according to Daniels.
- The material, which can be formed into shapes, is the first of its kind. MOS will have the material molded into its logo, and expects to see a financial savings in two months, based on reduced materials cost and projected increased employee productivity.
Currently, 17 million pounds of packaging end up in landfills each year, and they stay there indefinitely, adding to greenhouse gas emissions. Some manufacturers are designing rather innovative packaging to divert from landfill, usually more recyclable materials, though products like biodegradable chip bags have come on line.
RNS’s Daniels said, "We want to change the way businesses and individuals ship in order to significantly reduce the negative impact packaging is having on the earth."
MOS President Ralph Slider said to MLive, "Sustainability is no longer viewed as a cost of doing business, but a way of doing business. We are happy to be partnering with RNS Packaging to do our part in reducing our current and future ecological footprint."