According to a 2022 study, more than half of the consumers surveyed said they would pay more for sustainable product alternatives. As this demand for sustainability persists, it is necessary to prioritize sustainable shipping processes for your e-commerce business – particularly regarding your packaging materials.
Bubble Wrap® is a popular option for protecting your products from impact and scratches – but is it recyclable?
Read on as we explore whether you can recycle bubble wrap, whether it is a sustainable option, and how to recycle it. The Packaging Company is moving toward more sustainable e-commerce shipping processes; contact us today to learn more about our innovative packaging solutions.
Is Bubble Wrap® Recyclable?
Yes. bubble wrap is completely recyclable. However, you cannot simply place bubble wrap in your curbside bin. This is because bubble wrap is not a hard plastic. You can only recycle hard plastics in your curbside bin, such as plastic bottles and items with Resin Identification Codes 1 or 2.
Plastic films, such as shrink wrap, plastic bags, and bubble wrap, are not recyclable curbside. Your recycling bin may not be emptied if these plastics are inside, as they present issues at a recycling plant. They can become stuck in sorting machines and cause jams.
Since bubble wrap is considered a plastic film, you must recycle it in a specialized bin for plastic films.
How Do You Recycle Bubble Wrap®?
There are many ways you can recycle bubble wrap. Let’s explore some of the best ways to recycle bubble wrap for more sustainable living.
When moving house, bubble wrap and boxes can be an expensive investment. If you save your bubble wrap from your packages, you can easily protect your items during the moving process without spending a thing. You can also reuse your bubble wrap for wrapping presents or to protect your luggage when you travel.
The easiest way to get rid of your bubble wrap sustainably is to have a dedicated recycling bin in your home for plastic films. Any plastic bags, bubble wrap, or shrink wrap you use can be placed into this bin.
When the bin is full, you can use Google to find your nearest type 4 plastic recycling center and drop off your recycling materials. You may also have a collection service in your area, which makes things even more convenient!
Suppose you’re a business needing to dispose of large volumes of bubble wrap. In that case, you can research type 4 plastic recycling services, which will make collections from your facility weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
Is Bubble Wrap® A Sustainable Packaging Option?
Unfortunately, though it is recyclable, bubble wrap cannot be considered fully sustainable. This is for a few reasons:
- Polyethylene, the primary plastic in bubble wrap, is made using fossil fuels.
- The manufacturing process for bubble wrap requires high energy consumption and water consumption and contributes to the release of greenhouse gases.
- When consumers receive bubble wrap in their packages, they often neglect to recycle it using the appropriate channels. Instead, they simply place it in their general waste bin.
For the above reasons, bubble wrap is generally not sustainable. Here are some alternatives you could use if you’re seeking more sustainable void fill:
Sustainable Packaging Supplies From The Packaging Company
Bubble wrap is recyclable and is a staple for many packaging strategies. Increasing awareness of bubble wrap recycling processes can improve its sustainability. Though it is not a fully sustainable packaging option, the recyclability of bubble wrap ensures it does not contribute to pollution.
To learn more about sustainable packaging options, why not contact our team of packaging experts here at The Packaging Company? Our team can recommend sustainable alternatives to your packaging supplies!