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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Styrofoam Shark Teeth

A friend of ours who is still in Kazakhstan was kind enough to send us a box of things we needed, which arrived here the other day.  He took it to the campus UPS store, which provides boxes and packing material.  From our own experience shipping from there, the employees are very conscientious about helping customers with the packing process, so it wasn't too surprising that they had been generous with the packing material.  What did interest me was what the packing material looked like.

Exotic packing material from Kazakhstan
These pieces of packing material were made of styrofoam, which in and of itself is somewhat noteworthy these days in the US.  Styrofoam packing material seems to have largely fallen out of favor here, for any number of very good reasons.  I'd sort of forgotten how to deal with it when it does arrive.  Even after we took out our belongings, the box appeared to be almost full of these little styrofoam pieces.  How does that even happen?  And more to the point, how were we going to dispose of them, living as we do in a building with fairly narrow trash chutes that couldn't possibly accommodate a large box filled with styrofoam?

We resorted to having Scott use our snow shovel to scoop the styrofoam pieces out of the box and dump them into garbage bags that I was holding open.  We filled two entire garbage bags, one of which burst open as soon as I dropped it down the trash chute.  Sigh.

Usually, at least in the US, we refer to this particular variety of packing material as "styrofoam peanuts" because of their shape.  These didn't seem to be particularly peanut-shaped, so I've decided to call them styrofoam shark teeth.  I considered calling them styrofoam boomerangs, but was afraid that would encourage them to come back.

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