Plastic Loose Fill Council
Drop-off Sites
Peanut Hotline
Environmental Questions
About Us
Join Peanut Hotline

How does the Peanut Hotline work?
The Peanut Hotline works this way: by calling 800-828-2214 or going to, individuals learn of the nearest collection site for plastic loosefill packaging. They bring their extra loosefill to a Peanut Hotline member business. That business reuses the loosefill in their outgoing shipments.

What is plastic loosefill?
Plastic loosefill, also known as packing peanuts, is a void-fill packaging product made of expanded polystyrene. It is over 99.6% air. It consists of small pieces of sturdy protective packaging that is used to fill in the empty space between merchandise and exterior cartons.

What about other plastic packaging?

  • For questions about large pieces of expanded polystyrene packaging, call Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers at 415-451-8340. They know about the type of plastic packaging that is in molded shapes that fits around large pieces of equipment or computers, DVDs, etc.
  • For all of your questions about other plastic packaging products, click on the American Chemistry Council.

Where can I buy plastic loosefill?
You can buy plastic loosefill from packaging manufacturers and distributors across the country. To find one near you, look under Packaging Supplies in the Yellow Pages or contact one of the PLFC Members.

Peanut Hotline membership benefits?
As a collection center member of the Peanut Hotline you receive free loosefill packaging, potential new walk-in customers, recognition as a local community service provider, a great public relations story to tell your local media and 24-hour phone advertising of your business to local callers. To learn more, click on Peanut Hotline.

How can I join the Peanut Hotline?
You can join the Peanut Hotline by printing out the membership form provided on this website and sending it in with your check for your dues payment. You can pay for one year at $30 or two years at $50. There is a discount for enrolling more than one store.

Update my Peanut Hotline listing?
You can update your membership listing by mailing changes to your listing to:

Plastic Loose Fill Council/AFPR
1298 Cronson Blvd., Ste 201,
Crofton, MD 21114

Order more membership supplies?
You can order more membership supplies by sending us your request, with your name and address to:

Plastic Loose Fill Council/AFPR
1298 Cronson Blvd., Ste 201,
Crofton, MD 21114

Or you can download copies (pdf files) of

  1. brochure ("Plastic Foam Loose Fill and the Environment")
  2. package insert template
  3. sample Media Release for Collection Centers
  4. Working With The Local Media

If you want our brochure "Plastic Foam Loose fill and the Environment," email your request to Please include your name and address in the email, so we know where to send it.

If you want a Peanut Hotline membership application, email your request to Please remember to include your name and address in the email. You can also print out a membership application form from this website."

Find a Peanut Hotline collection site?
To find your nearest Peanut Hotline collection site, click on Drop-off Sites. If the nearest Peanut Hotline site is too far from you, look up a packaging store business in your yellow pages and ask them if they would like your plastic loosefill. You can also ask a local craft shop if they can use your extra loosefill.

How do I use plastic loosefill?
To pack with pastic loosefill, first dispense a layer of loosefill in the bottom of the carton. Heavier articles need more loosefill. Place the article that you are sending in the center of the carton on the bed of loosefill. Pour loosefill into the space around the sides of the article so there's a minimum of four inches of loosefill between the article and the side of the carton. Overfill the carton with more loosefill so it forms a small mound above the top edge of the box. Do not remove excess loosefill. Close the box firmly. This will interlock the loosefill and hold your article in place during shipment.

Plastic loosefill and the environment?
The minimum recycled content in plastic loosefill is 25%. Some loosefill has 100% recycled content. Through the national reuse program for plastic loosefill, the Peanut Hotline, member businesses, on average, use 50% reused loosefill in their outbound shipments. Over 30% of all plastic loosefill is reused. Plastic loosefill is an expanded polystyrene product made up of 99.6% air. Because of its light weight and sturdy nature, it provides excellent protection for fragile shipments and adds little to shipping weight. For more information click on Environmental Questions.

What is the history of EPS loose fill?
EPS loose fill was invented in the years following World War II when advances in plastics technology met the demand for cleaner and lighter weight substitutes for the household or barnyard packaging materials that soldiers used to ship home their valuables. On receipt, packages stuffed with popcorn, paper and rubberized horse hair void-fills often arrived with vermin, debris and broken pieces of the valuables they were meant to protect. Contaminated boxes and the introduction of foreign born pests led to the military and postal services banning food-based packaging materials.

As America prospered in the fifties, businesses and consumers ordered more products by mail. Packaging technology evolved to meet America's rapidly growing shipping needs. One of these developments was EPS loose fill. Its light weight and strong cushioning abilities literally filled the void between the product and the package exterior walls.

The first EPS loose fill manufacturer was Dow Chemical. Styrene resin was an available by-product of the petrochemical industry. Dow engineers and chemists discovered that, when injected with a gas, styrene plastic maintained its strength in a softer, lighter form, making it ideal as a package cushioning product. Dow's original technology injected chloroforocarbon or CFC gas into styrene plastic rods, resulting in pencil-thick, light-weight and flexible ropes that simulated and improved on rubberized horsehair packaging.

Over time, the rod shape evolved into S, C, H and 7 shapes that flowed easily into boxes from overhead packaging feeder systems.

With environmental concerns came developments such as cleaner blowing agent substitutes for CFCs, the recycling of gasses in the manufacturing process, the recycling of styrene resin in the production of loose fill, the remanufacturing of EPS loose fill into new products and a consumer reuse program for EPS loose fill in the United States.

Today, EPS loose fill is manufactured and used worldwide. It is produced regionally by plastics packaging companies using recycled polystyrene and styrene by-products purchased from petrochemical companies. In its finished form, EPS loose fill is 99.6% air, up to 100% recycled plastic content, easily reused and exceptionally protective as a cushioning package material.


Plastic Loose Fill Council/AFPR, 1298 Cronson Blvd., Ste 201, Crofton, MD 21114