Packing peanuts are useful to protect delicate items during shipping, but sadly, they’re highly destructive to the environment.
The truck driver apparently worked for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, a full-service junk removal company with franchises across the United States. Ironically, its tagline is: “We make junk disappear. All you have to do is point!”
Unfortunately, it seems the company didn’t hold up its end of the bargain.
While the truck driver likely just forgot to secure the load, it’s a mistake that could’ve been easily avoided. One Reddit user said they used to work for the company and that “if anything was small/light enough to still blow out, we were expected to bag it. Some workers are lazy.”
Of course, the driver may not have noticed, as another commenter pointed out. However, the original poster apparently tried to get their attention. “I gave them a few honks and then called the non emergency police line to report them for unsecured load/littering,” they said.
It’s unclear if the packing peanuts in the video are the Styrofoam kind or a biodegradable variety made of cornstarch and other plant-based materials. Since the newer eco-friendly packing peanuts decompose in the environment, they’re a much better option for the planet.
According to Environment America, a collective of 30 state environmental groups, polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam) can take hundreds of years to break down — if it does at all — and often ends up in landfills or waterways, polluting the natural environment.
Wildlife, including seabirds and marine animals, often mistake these tiny pieces of foam for food, which can cause severe digestive issues and even death.
So, if you have an option, it’s always best to choose biodegradable packing peanuts. Then, if they do end up flying out of a garbage truck, at least they will decompose instead of add to plastic waste in the environment.
People in the comments section were outraged, with many blaming the truck driver.
“This is super illegal and should be reported,” a commenter said.
“As a driver it is 100% your responsibility to check and secure your load no matter who packed it,” another user added.
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