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  • Writer's pictureNathalie Jones

How To Recycle Packaging From Online Shopping

How To Recycle Packaging From Online Shopping
How To Recycle Packaging From Online Shopping

From cardboard boxes to plastic packaging, online shopping sure can produce a lot of waste, and while it may be more convenient to order online than to head to the store, the packaging used to get your items to you just adds to the pile.

Some packaging is easy to recycle, but what about things like bubble wrap, tape and polystyrene? To help you recycle your online shopping packaging, I’ve put together this simple guide.


Regardless of whether your delivery comes in a cardboard box or sleeve, you’re free to recycle any cardboard in your household recycling bin. However, keep a look out for parcel tape, as this isn’t recyclable. Remove as much of it as possible from your cardboard box before putting it in the recycling. According to, recycling facilities are built to cope with a small amount of tape left on cardboard packages, so don't panic if you can’t get it all off.

Bubble Wrap

If you’re ordering a fragile product, your delivery will usually arrive with bubble wrap to provide extra padding for your item. The good news is that bubble wrap is recyclable, although most of the time you can’t recycle it in your wheelie bin. Instead, look in your local grocery store: Target, Publix, and other large stores often have a recycling drop-off point for bubble wrap, along with plastic bags and plastic film.

Padded Envelopes

Because these are lined with bubble wrap, they cannot be recycled, as the lining cannot be separated from the outside packaging. Always try and reuse these as many times as possible.

Polystyrene Foam Beads

Polystyrene is mostly non-recyclable. The majority of municipalities advise to put it in your general garbage bin. However, some will accept polystyrene if you take it directly to their recycling centers. Check out this website to see whether your municipality provides this service.

Plastic Polythene Peel

Lots of retailers use plastic polythene peel for clothing deliveries. This is the plastic bag that clothes come wrapped in. Whilst plastic polythene peel can't be recycled in your household bin, it can be taken to special recycling points. Recycle Now states that bags used for new clothing can be taken to carrier bag collection points. If you want to find a collection point near you, start by looking in your local supermarket.


There are a few types of paper which may be included in your deliveries.

  • Brown wrapping paper is recyclable at home. However, don’t get brown wrapping paper confused with colored wrapping paper, as this is mostly not recyclable due to dyes and non-paper additives such as glitter.

  • Tissue paper is recyclable, just put it in your household recycling. Or, re-use it when you next give someone a gift, as it’s a great alternative to non-recyclable wrapping paper!

  • Shredded paper isn’t recyclable at home, surprisingly. Most municipalities ask you not to put shredded paper into your household recycling bin as the small pieces can interfere with machinery at recycling centers. Instead, take it to a special recycling point or use it for compost at home. If the shredded paper is clean, you might be able to use it for small animal bedding.

I hope you found this email informative. For more information on locations where you can dispose/donate items please check out our website resource page.


~Nathalie XOXO

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Disclosure: Friends, some of the links in this newsletter are affiliate links meaning if you click them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. I link these companies and their products because I trust the product and the company quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases.

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