How to Wrap the Perfect Parcel (Plastic Free Tape, Mailers, and Boxes!)
Today, we depend on the global shipping network to receive necessities and send gifts to the ones we love. In 2020, the US alone shipped 20 billion parcels. Unfortunately, many of these packages were covered in plastic. From the tape to the mailer itself, it adds up. Choosing plastic free tape and more thoughtful shipping materials can drastically decrease your plastic output. Here are my top recommendations.
Plastic Free Tape
Traditional packing tape is typically plastic. If you ship a lot of packages, you’ve likely witnessed for yourself just how easy it is to go through roll after roll. But there is a simple and much more eco-friendly option – plastic free tape!
Package Free’s kraft tape is approved by UPS, FedEx, and the USPS, so it’s strong and durable enough for any package. Plus, it works just like normal tape. Just rip off what you need and stick it on the package. Since it’s just kraft paper with a natural rubber adhesive on a cardboard roll, it is totally recyclable.
If you so send a lot of packages and go through a good amount of tape, you might also consider water-activated tape. This type of tape is paper, with a water-activated adhesive. Staplerman tape is a great example of water-activated tape, plus it’s perfect for more heavy-duty jobs as it’s reinforced.
Plastic Free Mailers
Mailers – those plastic pouches that smaller items often come in – are typically polyurethane. Plastic bags of this material are hard to recycle and usually end up sitting in the landfill for years before becoming microplastics. Considering that mail will go through all kinds of rough handling and weather to get to its destination, paper isn’t a great alternative.
Instead, there are bio mailers. For example, The Little Eco Company’s mailing bags are biodegradable and compostable. Although they look and feel like plastic, they use corn starch to create a protective barrier for the package.
Plastic Free Boxes
Around Christmas time, we also see a lot of gift boxes passed around, whether by mail or by hand. While gift boxes are mostly cardboard, they typically have a shiny exterior made from plastic. This can make them hard to recycle.
Try to choose kraft boxes instead, which lack the shiny exterior coat. You can also use bakery boxes and photography boxes, depending on the size of your gift.
Use What You Have
As always, the most eco-friendly choice you can make is to use what you have! Save gift wrapping materials when you receive presents. Save boxes that come in the mail. Giving existing items a second life is a great way to show some love to the environment.
Do you have your plastic free tape, mailers, and boxes ready for sending presents this Christmas? Or do you keep wrapping saved from previous years? Let me know in the comments below!
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