UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into packing materials for the new Student Union Building Ng, Caleb; Oh, Jun; Rahmanian, Siamak


In search of a packing material that is sustainable environmentally, economically, and socially, the report utilizes three materials, corrugated cardboard, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts as possible candidates for packing materials in the new SUB. The report focuses on materials which can be used for bulk shipping non-food items for retailers that are coming into the new SUB. After researching using various online sources, cardboard was found to be versatile, serving its purpose for exterior packing very well. Cardboard is largely recyclable, adding environmental and social values, while also being inexpensive to produce. Bubble wrap has two choices of materials: plastic polymer and biodegradable wrap. Biodegradable bubble wrap has the environmental advantage over the polymer wrap, while costing just a little more than the polymer counterpart. Packing peanuts is also divided into two types of materials: polystyrene and starch based peanuts. While starch based costs more than the polystyrene based, these peanuts have the environmental advantage in decomposition, and also had possible uses as biofuels, after the initial purpose of packing has been served. In conclusion, cardboard was determined to be the prime candidate for exterior packing, while containing packing peanuts inside for products which need extra protection. The use of packing peanuts were found to exhibit a greater overall advantage than bubble wrap, given that its potential to be reused as biofuel overcomes the economic advantage that bubble wrap has. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada