Silica Packets Put in Garbage Cart Rip Open and Throw Away Silica is made from an inert, non-toxic substance that can absorb water. The packets may pose as a choking hazard, and consuming large amounts of the substance inside can be dangerous for small children and pets. To prevent these potential dangers, tear packets open to empty out the substance inside the packet and toss out both the substance and packet. Ways to Reuse Use as Drying Agent Put silica packets in places where moisture is unwelcome, from vehicle dashboards to mold-prone corners of your home. Store them with household items at risk for mold or water damage, or use them to dry out water-damaged electronics.