Following a summer filled with online deliveries and looking towards the peak packaging season of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, you may be wondering what to do with all of the packaging that you are starting to amass.
Of course, the easiest thing to do is to dispose of them in your household waste but, whilst this is the most convenient solution, it is also the most environmentally damaging. Potentially the second-best option would be to separate your recyclables and recycle whatever packaging can be recycled. However, one of the best options would be to try to reuse as much packaging as possible, which can also help to reduce your levels of consumption. But, what packaging CAN you reuse, and how?
We looked at some of our most popular products and some of the best ways that you can reuse them;
With Christmas coming up, cardboard boxes are extremely easy to reusefor packaging presents, or to store gifts ready to drop them off whilst you are playing Santa. Outside of the holiday season, they can be reused in a wide range of ways, from storage and sending, to crafts and even composting. In fact, there are so many creative ways to reuse a cardboard box that we’ve already written a whole blog post about it here! Of course, cardboard boxes are also incredibly simple to recycle once they are no longer useful, provided they are stripped of any accessories (such as tape or glitter) and are well broken down to fit into your recycling bin.
Bubble wrap has grown to be a relatively divisive material over recent years due to worldwide efforts to promote more environmentally friendly consumption. However, bubble wrap is not only fully recyclable, but it is also incredibly easy to reuse, often with greater longevity and reusability than its ‘greener’ counterparts. Aside from being able to rewrap other items in the bubble wrap, it can also be used for a selection of alternative uses including; protecting plants during the winter, wrapping around tools or other uncomfortable items to make them more comfortable to use, and the age-old beacon of reusing packaging…crafting of course.
Unlike their wrappable counterpart above, bubble bags can be extremely difficult to recycle due to the combination of materials that they use, that’s why it is important to find alternative ways to try and reduce their environmental impact. The first and most easy way to reuse bubble bags is to send any mail in them, therefore getting at least one additional use out of them (if they’re in an adequate condition). They also have all the protective qualities of bubble wrap and therefore can be great for protecting fragile items (such as Christmas baubles) and also make a cheap substitute for insulation.
Much like their fellow plastic packaging items, polythene bags are often demonised due to their constituent materials, however they are also fully recyclable at the appropriate drop off point and can be great for reusing around the house. The reuse of polythene bags will likely be common practice already for pet owners collecting animal waste, but they can also have a range of other users…or re-uses. Many polythene bags are perfectly sized for food prep bins or for taking packed lunches, or as with many packaging items, they can also be cut up and used in a wide range of crafts.
Perhaps one of our more difficult items for its perceived eco-credentials, our strapping can be both recyclable and reusable depending on the material it is made from. For example, both our plastic polypropylene strapping and our woven polypropylene are fully recyclable and can also be an excellent material for sturdier crafting projects and weaving. Both of these can also be recycled at the appropriate recycling plant. Meanwhile, our steel strapping can also be recycled at your nearby recycling centre and is also a popular element in artistic sculptures and installations.