In the era of online shopping, packaging has become a large portion of waste in our daily world. Packages arriving in our mailboxes and on our doorsteps show up in many forms and most are not recyclable. Some of these items can be saved to re-use for future shipping needs. Here are a few of the common types:

Cardboard box - this is recyclable
Plastic envelopes - landfill (Amazon's plastic, bubble wrap lined envelopes can be dropped off at retailers that collect plastic bags)
Bubble lined envelopes - landfill

Packaging Fillers:

Packaging Peanuts, Air Pillows and Bubble Wrap are accepted for reuse at many shipping companies.
Paper - Recycle

Insulated polystyrene shipping containers are not recyclable, but can be reused for camping or picnics.

Reduce Packaging

We typically don't think much about the way a product is packaged. After all, it's the product we're after. If you buy a bottle of soda pop, you want the soda, not the bottle.

According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), of the 66 million tons of solid waste generated by Californians each year, approximately one third is packaging! Aside from being wasteful, packaging often ends up as litter and is harming our environment and oceans.

What you can do to help:

  1. Ask manufacturers to reduce their packaging.
  2. Reduce the amount of packaging you use. For example when preparing your lunch for school or work, use reusable packaging, rather than single-use.
  3. Look for packaging that is made from recycled content.