What do you get when you buy something like a TV that comes in a large box? Besides the product you want, you get trash.
The bulk of that trash is a polystyrene foam, made from oil, that is mostly air and otherwise the most toxic and difficult to recycle of plastics. And very bulky. It lasts about forever, too.
I reported a couple of years ago about a company called Ecovative that grows packaging (and insulation, and automobile parts, and surfboards, and basically any other application of polystyrene foam) from mushrooms.
After you have taken your product out of the box, you can compost mushroom packaging or otherwise return it to the earth.
Here’s a TED talk given by one of the inventors, Eben Bayer. It includes a marvelous time lapse to show how the product is grown by stuffing agricultural waste, inoculated with mycelium (mushroom roots), into a mold, and then letting it sit in a dark place for a few days.
The video is about two years older than my post, so I had to check to see that the company is still in business.
It is. And it sells not only finished products, but Grow It Yourself kits.
If you own or work for a business that uses foam packaging (or about anything else), purchase mushroom packaging instead. Or grow your own.