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How to Recycle Bubble Mailers - The Complete Guide

How to Recycle Bubble Mailers - The Complete Guide

Is your pile of bubble mailers getting higher?

We've all received a package in a bubble mailer at some point. With online shopping growing so fast, you probably have stacked some from exciting online purchases.

Whether it's an Amazon delivery or something you ordered from a seller on Etsy, bubble mailers are pretty common and useful. But what happens to them after they serve their purpose? Can you recycle bubble mailers and other types of packaging?

The short answer is yes! Not only can you recycle your old bubble wrap, but there are several great ways to give your old shipments new life after they've been delivered. So, if you have many of these padded envelopes in your home or office, it's time to recycle them!

In this blog, we'll show you how to recycle bubble mailers. Read on.

What Are the Different Types of Bubble Mailers?

Bubble mailers are typically used for shipping small items and lightweight products. 

Don’t mistake bubble mailers for padded envelopes, though. These two are very much different in terms of what's inside them. While bubble mailers are lined with bubble wrap inside, padded envelopes are supported with foam or additional paper on the interior.

However, you may hear the term "bubble mailer" used as a generic term for padded envelopes. In this case, it refers to all types of padded mailers, such as plastic bubble mailers and biodegradable bubble mailers. There are also other types, like paper-padded envelopes, that can offer additional protection for your items during shipment without adding much extra weight to the package.

Other options include honeycomb mailers, which are made of corrugated cardboard instead of paper or plastic. They're lighter but still strong enough to protect what's inside them from damage during transit.

bubble mailer

Can You Recycle Bubble Mailers?

Yes, you can recycle bubble mailers — but not all of them. Once you decide to recycle your bubble mailers, there are some important things to keep in mind such as:

  • Make sure that the mailing envelopes are clean and dry. If they have liquid or foodstuffs on them, it will be difficult for the recycling center to separate them from other products during processing.
  • Paper envelopes without plastic bubbles can be recycled in curbside drop-off bins and all other types of paper products.
  • You can recycle plastic bubble mailers with other plastic bags and wraps (known as flexible plastics), but they must be taken to a recycling depot or a local supermarket that accepts them.
  • Paper mailers with plastic bubbles cannot be recycled since it is often very difficult to separate the two layers to be recycled separately.

Can You Recycle Bubble Wraps The Same Way?

Bubble wraps are essentially made the same way as the bubble layer in the mailers. So, yes,  they can be recycled similarly. You can recycle them with other plastic films, such as plastic bags, at specific recycling bins for plastic bag recycling. You can find these bins in various drop-off points like grocery stores, retailers, or pharmacies. If you don't have this option, then consider reusing your bubble wraps instead.

How can I recycle bubble mailers and other bubble packaging materials?

Again, it is important to note that bubble wraps are not recyclable in curbside drop-off bins due to their size. To recycle bubble wrap, you will need to take it directly to a recycling depot or supermarket that accepts them.

Other Ways to Give Old Bubble Mailers A Second Life

Aside from tossing them in your recycling bin or bringing them to a recycling drop-off site or local recycling facility, you can use bubble mailers for other purposes.

  • Use them as packing material: Bubble mailers are great for protecting fragile items, so you can use them to pack breakables and other fragile items like glassware. They will keep things clean during transit and protect whatever's inside from dust particles that could cause static cling or damage sensitive objects (e.g., electronics).

If you're sending multiple items in one package, it's best to pack them separately so they don't shift around in transit and get damaged. Bubble mailers can be used to keep each of these pieces safe from damage and moving around together during shipment.

  • Use them as a cushion for fragile items: Bubble mailers are also ideal to use as a protective layer that cushions the contents of your package from getting damaged in transit. This makes them perfect for mailing breakables and other delicate items with little to no risk of damage while they're being shipped.

If you're shipping something like electronics or glasses frames/lenses that need extra care during transport, then use the bubble mailers that are lying around your house. Put your items inside one of these protective envelopes before sending off your postcards!

  • Use them as gift wrapping: If you have extra bubble mailers lying around, they make an excellent item with which to wrap gifts! With the Christmas season fast approaching, wrap up some gifts in these mailers and add some pretty bows or ribbons on top—you'll save money by not having to buy wrapping paper and tape.
  • Use them as a protective cover for electronics: If you're shipping an electronic device (like a computer), it’s important that this item doesn't get damaged by moisture or dust while being transported by UPS or FedEx services. And this is where bubble mailers become useful. Using bubble wrap packaging will help prevent damage from occurring on any item being shipped via ground transportation.

Final Thoughts

Bubble mailers and bubble wraps are great ways to protect your products. Another good thing about them is that they can be recycled, which helps maximize their use. They can also be reused and repurposed into something new. By doing so, you're actually helping the environment by reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. We hope this guide has helped you see you can give a second life (and more!) to your bubble mailers at home.

Impack takes your business one step further to sustainability. We provide biodegradable bubble mailers and our mailer bags are completely recyclable. If they are not collected and end up as trash, they will just decompose into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass — without leaving any hazardous residues or microplastics behind. Click here to check them out!

2 comments on How to Recycle Bubble Mailers - The Complete Guide
  • Barry

    Many address labels use thermal paper. A heat gun (or very hot hair dryer) will turn the whole label black making it unreadable.

    Other self adhesive labels can sometimes be removed from paper or card packages by heating with a heat gun to soften the adhesive.

    July 23, 2024
  • Mary B
    Mary B

    I have a difficult time getting the mailing labels off plastic bubble mailers. Do I have to get the entire label off? I do work at it until I get my name and address removed.

    July 21, 2024
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