By Bob Baer
Here are the recent answer to this question.
I know this is an old thread but I found it because I've been looking for the same thing.
Surprisingly, I've been having good luck at local (I'm in Virginia) health food shops. You know the ones that in addition to health foods also sell candles, incense and other stuff like that.
They won't have huge quantities but most people running these stores are very envrironmentally conscious and want to find a good home for what they can't re-use. Hope this helps someone.
I have 8 garbage bags of shipping Peanuts. I am in Union County New Jersey. You can have them if you have a way of getting them. I hate to just throw them out. I tried to sell them to UPS but they say they only recycle them. Recycling to UPS is we take them for free and then sell them at exorbitant prices.
We have free packing peanuts. We are in NJ.
By fellow ebay thrifty seller (Guest Post)11/18/2008
Stores that sell breakable accessories are the best, pier one or home goods anywhere that sells breakable smaller items usually have packing peanuts that they throw away. Either call them to ask to save it for you or check out there dumpsters usually you can find packing peanuts bubble wrap and sometimes boxes that they are just throwing away. You would be surprised the things stores throw away. Good luck
By Grandma J 11/10/2008
Blowing up balloons to use, stuffing newspaper. I get lots of packing stuffing that I save for others, they come pick up when I get alot.
Another place, the local drug store.
Also found out when I needed to send back a hard drive in a NON STATIC bag---any place with film developing, local drug store, etc. That is what they get their processing paper in.
By Marlene (Guest Post)11/02/2007
I used to sell a lot on ebay but haven't for awhile. When I pack something breakable, I first put in a layer of empty soda pop cans - also tuck them around the edges and top. It works fantastic and I've gotten some interesting comments, but hey! It works, they weigh practically nothing and they are recyclable! And you don't have peanuts all over creation when you're working with it. What more could you ask?
By Concetta 11/02/2007
If you know people who work for office buildings, just ask them to save them up for you. The green movement is a big deal in a lot of places. I recycle ours all the time.
I sell on ebay on the side too - and my suggestion is popcorn instead of peanuts. I buy popcorn and pop it and let it cool, and put it into the box. It seems to have the same ability to pad things, and is much more environmentally friendly.
By Lynda (Guest Post)11/01/2007
If your city/town recycles, find the largest recycling center and watch frequently for folks disposing of large cardboard boxes left outside of the bins FULL OF FREE PEANUTS AND BUBBLE WRAP. Also, try curbs by stopping only where it appears someone has just moved in. Gently kick their large tied up trash sacks and openable large boxes. I find peanuts all the time. Also, frequently discount stores like TJ MAXX toss huge clear bags of peanuts out on Friday and Saturday morning, but try to check inside first and never dumpster dive. Often the dumpster doors are open and so full that the bags have not touched the sides of the dumpster and are pristine, new and clean. Good luck and God bless you. : )
No, however another suggestion is, if you use a paper shredder, keep the shreddings for packing material. Just make sure you have a cross-shredder, making sure nobody can get personal information off of the shreds of paper.
You can also try your local Freecycle group. I often see packaging materials posted. http://www.freecycle.org/
By Christine Biernat 11/01/2007
Check Craig's List in your local area under FREE. I often see people trying to get rid of packing peanuts and other packing materials for free.
By Marjorie C. Woodworth 10/31/2007
Hello Bob from PA,
You happened to find the right person to answer your question. I also sell on eBay. I was able to get bags and bags of packing peanuts for free from a health food store where I happen to do a lot of business. Contact vitamin shops in your area because when they receive their shipments the vitamins are packed in cartons along with the packing peanuts. Also check optical shops in your area.
Contact the manager or assistant managers and you should be able to get quite a lot of packing peanuts. You will probably have to make weekly trips to the stores, to pick them up when their shipments are delivered by trucks.
Here are questions related to Finding Free Packing Peanuts.
I do a lot of packing for eBay items and I am always buying peanuts. Is there anyone out there who knows where I can get these for free? Thank you.
By Rose Smith 12/25/2012
Use your local Freecycle site. Google Freecycle so you can find your local chapter. It's great for this type of thing and lots of other stuff for that matter.
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.