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Subject: Popcorn


From: Joanna Tousley-Escalante <joanna>
Date: Wednesday, December 18, 1991
I received a fax from a neighbor here in Austin this afternoon - the
Booklab folks. They are currently having problems with their computers
and are unable to transmit information themselves.  So I'm passing along
their report on using popcorn as a packing medium.

    From Booklab, Inc., Austin, TX  12/18/91

    "In 1990 Booklab conducted a marketing study after receiving several
    glowing reports of popcorn packing. Among other facts, the study
    established that one one cubic foot of styrofoam fill weighs 4
    ounces, while the same quantity of popcorn popcorn weighs 2 pounds.
    Thus shipping costs increase significantly when popcorn is used.  A
    flammability test showed popcorn more flammable than styrofoam,
    which melts before igniting.  Popcorn and kernels deteriorate in
    dampness. Our study concluded that although popcorn is
    biodegradable, its production cost [results available on request],
    shipping weight and vulnerability exceed that of styrofoam fill to
    an unacceptable degree.

    There is a starch product made by American Excelsior called ECO-FOAM
    that we have examined.  this product is extruded corn.  It's weight
    is similar to that of styrofoam fill.  However it is very sensitive
    to humidity: if you touch it to your tongue it will melt.  It is
    also edible and might attract <attract> vermin.  We did not perform
    a flammability test on this product, having found ti unacceptable on
    the basis of natural instability alone.

    We are actively seeking a biodegradable packing product which will
    duplicate the advantages of styrofoam fill without the serious
    environmental disadvantage.  if you learn of emerging products, we
    would be eager to evaluate them.

    From Carol Kent,  BookLab"

Joanna Tousley-Escalante
Austin Community College
Internet:  joanna [at] ccwf__cc__utexas__edu
fax:       512/483-7773

                  Conservation DistList Instance 5:34
                 Distributed: Sunday, December 22, 1991
                        Message Id: cdl-5-34-001
Received on Wednesday, 18 December, 1991

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