26
Oct
2020
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A Guide to Wood Wool & Shred Buying

There is a variety of packing materials on the market, such as wood wool and shredded paper, that are very practical and safe for hampers, fruit, wine, and even fresh produce like lobsters and crayfish. The overall benefit of these products is that they are protective and can be manipulated easily around unusual shapes.

But which one is best suited for your hamper or package? This guide will provide you with some background on what is available and what best suits each packing requirement.

Wood Wool

What is wood wool?

Wood wool is a product made from shredded timber and is commonly found in packaging and hampers. It was invented almost 200 years ago and was mainly used to help transport fragile goods.Wood Wool Final image

How is wood wool made?

Wood wool is made from extremely slim and slender shavings of virgin pine. Logs are cut into billets and processed on large, sterile, high-speed machines into round strands and then shaved. The wood wool is then naturally air-dried and bundled together ready for distribution.

What is wood wool used for?

Wood wool is ideal for heavier items which need more support than paper shreds can provide. Unlike shredded paper, wood wool will become less soggy when exposed to wet foods or produce. Wood wool has a variety of uses, these include:
– Gift Hampers
– Wine Packaging
– Plant Packaging
– Food packaging, e.g. crabs, crayfish, lobster, fruit and vegetables
– Packaging protection during transport

How do you use wood wool?

To successfully secure your goods, do not use wood wool sparingly. Take handfuls at a time, pulling apart the fibres so that you have an aerated ball and stuff the wood wool into the gaps in your packaging. If you are using wood wool for decorative purposes, such as in a hamper, place a layer of the wood wool at the bottom of your chosen basket or box, and neatly tuck your goods into the wood wool so that the top is still visible. This method can also be used for all paper shred fillers. 

How do you use wood wool?

To successfully secure your goods, do not use wood wool sparingly. Take handfuls at a time, pulling apart the fibres so that you have an aerated ball and stuff the wood wool into the gaps in your packaging. If you are using wood wool for decorative purposes, such as in a hamper, place a layer of the wood wool at the bottom of your chosen basket or box, and neatly tuck your goods into the wood wool so that the top is still visible. This method can also be used for all paper shred fillers. 

Is wood wool eco-friendly?

Wood wool is an eco-friendly product that is completely biodegradable and can be recycled. Wood wool is an excellent alternative for synthetic packaging materials, such as Styrofoam or bubble wrap, because it is a natural product and can be sustainably produced from untreated timber.

Shredded Paper

What is Shredded Paper filler?

Shredded paper filler is made from shredded virgin paper. Virgin paper is paper that is made with less to no amount of materials or chemicals. You can purchase shredded paper in its natural colour or a series of different colours including white, black, and red. The dye used to create these different colours is a natural dye that is not harmful to the environment.

Shredded paper final image

What is shredded paper good for?

Shredded paper is well-suited for medium to heavy-weight items, but is not as sturdy as wood wool and is not recommended for contact with food as it can become soggy. Shredded paper can be used for:

  • Gift Hampers
  • Basket boxes
  • Nested boxes
  • Shop displays
  • DIY crafts
  • Packaging protection during transport

Is Shredded Paper eco-friendly?

Because shredded paper filler is made from virgin paper it is a chemical-free and eco-friendly product that can be recycled and even reused around the house for other projects such as animal bedding or compost and mulch in your garden.

How do you dispose of shredded paper?

Shredded paper can be recycled in your normal recycling bin, or it is also the perfect product to be composted or used as mulch in your garden. Composting is an environmentally friendly method of reuse that helps give back to the earth by enriching your home garden. Before adding it to your compost pile or garden, make sure that the shredded paper hasn’t been contaminated by any other products that it has come into contact with during its prior use.

Food Grade Shredded Paper

What is Food Grade Shredded Paper?

Food grade shredded paper has been screened for food safety and therefore can be used in direct contact with food such as confectionery, cookies, cakes, and fruit.

Food Grade final image

How is Food Grade Shredded Paper produced?

Food grade shredded paper is made from virgin paper that is certified for direct food contact. It is manufactured in warehouses that have been certified to produce clean food grade shredded paper in a sterile environment. Because of this, normal shredded paper can not be used as a substitute because it goes against the food grade regulations.

What can you use Food Grade Shredded Paper for?

Food grade shredded paper is best used for dry foods. Unlike wood wool, food grade shredded paper is more likely to become soggy if it comes in contact with wet foods, so wood wool is a better option for foods such as seafood or fresh produce. Food grade shredded paper is well-suited for medium to heavy-weight items and can be used for:

  • Packaging for dry foods such as confectionery, cookies, and cakes
  • Gift Hampers
  • Basket boxes
  • Nested boxes
  • Packaging protection during transport

Is Food Grade Shredded Paper eco-friendly?

Because food grade shredded paper is made from virgin paper it is chemical-free and an eco-friendly material that can be recycled and reused around the home much like regular shredded paper.

Crinkle Shredded Paper

What is Crinkle Shredded Paper?

Made from shredded paper, crinkle shredded paper is similar to regular shredded paper; however, the paper is tightly compressed and crinkled by a machine before it is put through the shredding machine.

Crinkle Shred

What is Crinkle Shredded Paper used for?

The subtle zigzag crinkles in crinkle shredded paper helps to create extra body and spring when filling containers. This makes it slightly more durable than flat shredded paper. It is well-suited for medium to heavy-weight items and can be used for:

  • Gift Hampers
  • Basket boxes
  • Nested boxes
  • Shop displays
  • DIY crafts
  • Packaging protection during transport

Is Crinkle Shredded Paper eco-friendly?

Yes, like shredded paper, crinkle shredded paper is recyclable, eco-friendly, and can be reused around the household as pet bedding or compost and mulch in the garden.

Shredded Newspaper

What is Shredded Newspaper?

Unlike normal shredded paper, shredded newspaper is made from old newspapers or magazines. This means that it does not meet the same standards as shredded paper or food grade shredded paper. This is because the shredded newspaper has chemicals within the paper, and has been exposed to outside elements before it is shredded.

Newspaper Filler final image

What can you use Shredded Newspaper for?

Shredded newspaper is often used in situations that need extra packaging and support. It can not be used as food grade shred and is not popular as a filler for stylish hampers or shop displays. Shredded newspaper can be used for:

  • Packaging protection during transport
  • DIY crafts

Is newsprint toxic?

Although newsprint doesn’t contain any plastics, it is heavily inked paper. Most modern inks have a base of soy or water, but not all newspapers are necessarily safe. Some newspapers might still use dangerous petroleum-based inks with a high amount of volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) in them.

Can Shredded Newspaper be composted?

Shredded newspaper can be composted or used as mulch around the garden, as long as it is made from black and white newspaper. Avoid using coloured or glossy paper, which might contain some toxic heavy metals and chemicals.


Wood wool and shredded paper filler can be messy, but they make up for this with their creative look and feel. These products are sometimes preferred packing material over tissue paper and other such packaging materials because they have more body, spring, and eco-friendly attributes. All wood wool and shreds are usually quite competitively priced and economical. For more information about these products, read our helpful Koch & CO FAQ pages Shred & Filler FAQ and Wood Wool Specifications page.

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