Are Packing Peanuts Really Illegal in New York?
She’s going to kill me for telling you this, but this is the story of a family member who got a tongue-lashing for something she sent me in the mail.
I come from a family of some impressively thrifty women who are also pros at saving and recycling just about everything. So, it was really no surprise to me when I received a gift in the mail from a family member and when I opened the box, a load of yellowed packing peanuts fell out.
Turns out when my family member, who lives in New York, took the box and its breakable contents to the Post Office, she was asked what was inside and mentioned the packing peanuts.
CUE THE LASHING.
Okay, that's definitely a little dramatic, but she did get chastised for using packing peanuts to protect my item – after all, packing peanuts are illegal in New York. Funny thing is that those same packing peanuts have been sent back and forth for well over 20 years so there was certainly no malice and she didn't even think twice when she used the same box and the same peanuts I'd sent to her last year.
While you probably won’t get in trouble if you ship something to your sister that’s surrounded by packing peanuts, but they really are illegal in New York.
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The ban on packing peanuts actually went into effect on January 1, 2022, in the state of New York. The ban is part of New York’s ban on polystyrene. Included in the ban are any single-use disposable polystyrene foam food service containers which include bowls, cartons, clamshells, cups, lids, plates and trays. Oh yeah, and packing peanuts.