New foam like materials?

Hi everyone,

As part of the creative staff at our business I get tormented and tortured everytime I have to look inside our product boxes. We currently use folded cardboard to keep the products in place and whole through the delivery process.
Since we sell consumer products I have always thought of trying to use something else than cardboard. Our products are almost entirely white and would benefit with some more contrasting material like a dark foam material which would present the product much better. Problem?
Foam is usually in polystyrene or similar which means its made by fossilized materials ergo expensive and hard on mother earth.

But is there any developments in this area? I heard something about biodegradable foams and plastics although that didn’t seem to work very well either. It would be nice to give the unboxer a little more pleasant feeling than cutting his/hers fingers on cardboard.

Do any of you have any opinions, suggestions or seen something cool? I would be happy if you shared it with me.

imagine if you could package your product in aerogel:

That would be a nice and innovative thing to do, unfortunately its very expensive and shatters when too much force get applied to it.

Aside from that, any oberservations or tips are very welcome.

Inflated plastic bags, like balloons, tend to work very well. And the packing material is air.

yes, but is it sexy? My opinion of plastic bags is that it is a medium that you use when ordering jumbles of stuff from, say, a computer company and then the individual product boxes are protected by plastic bags. Not for the actual products to be packed in.
I think preferrably it should be a medium that can be molded to fit the product, protect it from drops or other physical violence as well as look professional.

One of my own favourites is to use a high density soft foam, the product would be protected and alse be displayed nicely with all the accesories in place. Problem is that plastic is expensive, and subject to high import fines etc.

a cork block

Interesting thought, do you know anything more about the practical applications with it? Price, availability etc.