How to Recycle Packaging Material

May 3rd, 2008 BY Gloria Campos | 5 Comments

Getting a package in the mail can be a joyful experience. At least for me it is. I love getting a package in the mail. Unfortunately the nice products that come with the package also come with a lot of packaging material to be thrown away, but throwing it away means adding it to landfills. I don’t want to do that. Do you? So, what can be done with it?

Reuse. This is the first option. Reuse the packaging material when sending out a package to someone else. It saves money and helps the environment. Regrettably in some cases sometimes saving it for the next use can cause a pile up and it gets to be a little too much to handle. There is only so much space to give up in an office or a home for packaging material. Do you have the extra space?

Share it. This is the second option and it helps, but not many individuals want packaging material piled up in their offices or homes either. Space is a valuable commodity. If only there was an alternative solution to disposing of this packaging material without it ending up in landfills or causing pile up. It turns out there is.

Recycle. Not too long ago an informative recycling flyer magically appeared on my desk. Was it my husband trying to drop me a big hint or was I subconsciously doing it myself to help me get rid of some of the saved packaging material? I’m not really sure, but what I am sure of is that thanks to the flyer I now know there is a place called Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers that recycles the packaging material Expanded Polystyrene.

Drop off. Expanded Polystyrene is abbreviated as either EPS or EPF. It can be recycled into such things as: concrete , egg cartons, office products, foam insulation, and garbage cans. To have it recycled there is the option of calling 1-800-944-8448 or visiting the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers website to learn of the nearest EPS drop off recycling location. Some EPS locations may take the plastic bubble wrap too. Ask before you visit.

Mail off. In some situation there may not be an EPS drop off location nearby. In a situation like this EPS packaging can be mailed to the location via U.S. Postal service. There is no need to worry about the shipping cost because expanded polystyrene is extremely light weight. It is made up of 98% air. In fact, it may even be cheaper (gas versus shipping cost) to mail it to the drop off recycling location then to drive to a drop off location. If the packaging material is too bulky it can always be broken into pieces before mailing it. So long as the EPS is free of plastic, glue and cardboard debris it is good to go.

Have it picked up. This is the easiest and most convenient option to take. Box up the packaging material at home and then order a pick up online. You don’t have to drive to the post office. You can just order it to be picked up by your local USPS carrier as outbound mail.

  1. djgirl

    pretty interesting

  2. Larry Maletta II

    Hi Gloria, Good article. I own STYROCYCLERS in Marietta,GA. We are a public/business drop off for EPS packaging material. We accept clean white EPS free of tape and labels. We also take part in the national mail back program. EPS can be recycled into packaging peanuts, styrene products like CD cases, desk top products, picture frames, etc. A company has even recently figure out how to turn it back into EPS to be remolded again. AFPR is a great contact. I am a member and Board Member. EPS only takes up 0.7% of our landfills and is 100% recycable. There is no better product for insulation or protective packaging. It saves our truckers on fuel due to the fact it is 97% air. A truck load of EPS if you are lucky may weigh approx. 1800 to 2100lbs. A truck load of densified EPS when we are done with it for recycling will weigh approx. 65,000lbs.!!! Visit our website for more information and under products there is a movie of the STYROCYCLER densifier.

  3. Dina Magdy

    thanks alot for your efforts, am just asking abouk recycling og chipsy packaging materials?

  4. Canflex

    Thanks a lot for sharing the great information about how to Recycle Packaging Material.canflex is an manufacturing works like Packaging machine, Powder packaging machine, Vertical form fill seal machine.

  5. Alan Vojtech

    I had no idea wha to do with the "Popcorn" packaging foam. Now I know

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