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When you receive a package in the mail at home, it’s easy to overlook the package itself. What is the box being made from? What are the materials inside the box – wrapping, tape, packing peanuts – made from? After getting the product you received, it can be a hassle as to where to properly dispose of these materials, especially packing peanuts.
There’s lots of packing peanuts and it’s instinct to just throw them away. But in the workplace, you may receive lots of packages that all come with packing peanuts or bubble wrap. Let’s break down how to identify how to dispose of packing peanuts and learning what kinds are recyclable.
What Materials Are Found in Packaging Products?
The way a box is packaged actually says a lot about the company you’re buying from. The materials used are usually various types of paper and plastic. They help fragile products stay safe while in transit to their mailing destination.
Packing peanuts usually come as foam or some type of plastic. They are most commonly made from expanded polystyrene foam and are small in size. This is why it’s recommended to reuse or throw out packing peanuts into the regular waste bin.
According to a study published by the European Journal of Scientific Research on the impact of packaging on consumer buying decisions, good packaging is one of the most important features of a successful product. The study also found that proper packaging has a significant influence on consumer behavior, and it’s more effective than even traditional advertising at setting a brand apart from the competition.Business.com
Reduce Your Packaging Waste in the Workplace
Nowadays, there are a lot of resources to look for to reduce your eco-footprint. If your workplace is looking to improve their recycling system, a great first step is reducing their packaging waste.
With new packages coming in and out of offices everyday, the accumulation of waste only grows. Consider reducing your waste packaging with recyclable products. There are packing peanuts made with bioplastic and biodegradable materials, making it easier to recycle and compost packing materials.
If you have an abundance of packing materials that are no longer of use, like packing peanuts, consider using a dumpster bag to properly dispose of them.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources lists the following things to reduce your packaging waste:
Ask suppliers/shippers not to send you disposable, overly packaged or hard-to-recycle packing materials.
Avoid single-use containers.
Deliver your product with the minimal amount of packaging.
Purchase high quality reusable pallets which last longer and are easily repaired.
How to Dispose of Packing Peanuts
Depending on the type of packing peanut, they can either be thrown in the waste or recycled. Check the packaging labels for any information on the packaging materials that are used.
If the packing peanuts are still in good condition, you can keep them and use them for mailing out your own packages. This saves you money, allows you to reuse them and helps protect your packages.
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