Bubble wrap is one of those materials that seems just for packaging and shipping. Most of us have bubble wrap products in our homes, and they take over landfill space. More often than not, we need to realize that bubble wrap is recyclable!
The next time you purchase online items or get ready to move, take a quick pause and consider whether the packaging can be recycled instead of going straight to the trash.
In this blog post, we will discuss the recycling process for bubble wrap and other types of packing material. Bubble wrap can be recycled, but it takes a few extra steps to ensure it is done correctly.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is Bubble Wrap?
Bubble wrap is a material commonly used for packing that consists of a plastic sheet with air bubbles. It is often used to protect items during transport from one place to another.
You might use it to wrap breakable items when you are moving or sending a gift. You will likely find it surrounding everything from electronic devices to delicate items when you purchase them at stores.
Sometimes, thin paper Versailles, also known as in some envelopes.
Is Bubble Wrap Recyclable?
Yes, you can recycle bubble wrap, but it cannot go in your regular recycling bin. Bubble wrap is made of a different type of plastic than water bottles and shampoo bottles, so it must be recycled separately.
Hard plastics are classified as Resin Identification Codes (RICs) 1 and 2 in the recycling world. They are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The majority of recycling machines were created to recycle these types of materials.
Bubble wrap is made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which falls under RIC #4. This category contains plastic films, such as shrink wraps and bags. Here’s a helpful guide to what those plastic recycling numbers signify. You must know them!
Possible Difficulties While Recycling the Bubble Wrap
The main problem with recycling bubble wrap and other plastic films is that they can clog the machines. This interrupts the recycling process until the machine is fixed, which costs time and money. Workers may also sometimes get injured while trying to clear the jam.
Another problem is contamination. Recyclables can only be recycled if they are uncontaminated and not mixed with other materials. Even if an item on its own is recyclable, it might end up in the landfill because it was put in the wrong recycling bin.
If you recycle your bubble wrap, it will save time in decomposing in a landfill. So, separate that bubble wrap from your other plastic recyclables and put it in the recycling bin.
If you have a combo item, like a bubble-wrap-lined envelope, break it down into its parts: bubble wrap and paper. Then recycle each part accordingly.
Can You Recycle Bubble Wrap and How to?
1. Check with your local recycling plant or curbside program to see if they accept plastic films, such as bubble wrap.
2. If not, search for a nearby plastic film drop-off point where you can recycle the bubble wrap and other plastic films.
You can find these locations through Earth 911’s website tool or by looking up “plastic film recycling near me” on your search engine.
3. Start a collection at home for all the bubble wrap, plastic bags, and other plastic films you can reuse or recycle.
Make sure to keep them separate from other recyclables and store them in an area where they won’t get contaminated.
4. Make sure the bubble wrap is clean and dry before taking it to the recycling plant.
5. Put your bubble wrap in a clear plastic bag or another separate container for easy transport.
6. After dropping off your bubble wrap at the designated collection point, check with them periodically to find out what happens to the recycled materials after collection.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your bubble wrap is properly recycled and contributes to a better environment.
It is important to remember that although bubble wrap can be recycled, it is best to recycle responsibly and use non-plastic alternatives whenever possible.
You can help reduce the amount of plastic in circulation and ensure that your bubble wrap is used for more than just packing.
Next time you are shipping something or moving, remember to look into other packaging options before defaulting to bubble wrap!
Things to Avoid When Recycling the Bubble Wrap
Regarding recycling bubble wrap, there are a few things to avoid. To ensure that your bubble wrap is recycled correctly and without interrupting the system:
- Try to put only a little bubble wrap into the recycling bin at a time; this could cause clogging issues in the machine.
- Don’t mix bubble wrap with other recyclables; this will contaminate the recycling stream and make the bubble wrap unrecyclable.
- Don’t put bubble wrap in plastic bags or other soft plastics; it must go into its designated container for easy sorting.
- Remember to clean and dry the bubble wrap before you drop it off for recycling.
By following these simple steps, you can help reduce the amount of plastic in circulation and ensure that your bubble wrap is recycled responsibly.
With a little effort, we can all do our part in helping to keep our planet clean and green!
The Bottom Line
Bubble wrap can be recycled and should not end up in a landfill. To do so, check with your local recycling plant or curbside program to see if they accept plastic films and search for a nearby drop-off point if necessary.
Make sure to keep bubble wrap clean and separate from other recyclables, as contamination will make recycling difficult. And be sure to look into other packaging options before defaulting to bubble wrap!
With a little effort, we can all do our part in helping to make our planet clean and green.
Can you take bubble wrap to the tip?
Yes, bubble wrap is made from plastic. However, recycling can be difficult because you have to take it to a special recycling center.
If you can’t find one near you or don’t want to go through the trouble, know that bubble wrap can also be reused and repurposed around your house.
What is an eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap?
The corrugated rolls are made from sustainable materials that are recyclable, biodegradable, and plastic-free. They are the ideal green alternative to bubble wrap.