Posted by: ahallatt | January 25, 2009

Bike lights and bokashi fodder

I was really excited to get solar-powered cycle lights from my mum for Christmas. She sent me an pedalite which you strap around your ankle (I know, why draw attention to my cankles with a bright, flashing light? Anything for the cause of road safety…) and a baglite, which you put over your backpack. Very useful, as I usually have a backpack when I go on penguin watch.


solar powered bike lights

solar powered bike lights



My enthusiasm was tempered when I opened the package to find it was stuffed with foam packing peanuts….that didn’t seem very environmentally friendly.

I sent off an email to the company:


I was very excited to get pedalite lights for Christmas (thanks, Mum!), but surprised to see that the packaging the lights were sent in contained polystyrene peanuts (which will be reused, but can’t be recycled or composted).
Do you pack all lights in polystyrene and if so, would you consider using biodegradable popcorn instead? It works just as well.
They replied:
Dear Alex
Thank you for your email.  When we contracted the warehouse that we use to despatch our products we rejected the standard non bio degradable “polystyrene peanuts” that they usually use and they now only use:
Flo-Pack Bio
Free flowing, bio degradable cushioning material.
You have made obvious to us the very good point that although we did this, we do not make this clear in the packaging and therefore people that receive our products do not know that these are in fact bio-degradable packaging components.  We will look into making this information more widely known in the new year.
I hope that this information helps you.
Best regards
Simon Theobald
Pedalite International Ltd
Result! And I’ve looked up Flo-Pack Bio online to check that I really can compost the material (some biodegradable bags actually need very high temperatures to compost, or break down into small plastic pieces) and was happy to see that it is “Made of corn or wheat starch in a manner similar to breakfast cereal…”
biodegradable foam peanuts

biodegradable foam peanuts

Into the bokashi bin it goes!

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