Recycling Mystery: Is Bubble Wrap Recyclable?

Recycling Mystery: Is Bubble Wrap Recyclable?

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I bear in mind one of the crucial enjoyable components of unwrapping packages as a child was seeing what number of bubbles I might pop within the protecting plastic packaging. I clearly wasn’t too involved about reusing this materials, not to mention whether or not it might be recycled.

But now that I’m older, I’m extra within the query: Is Bubble Wrap recyclable? Many of us are shopping for an increasing number of merchandise on-line, so we’re left with loads of packing supplies that have to be disposed of. So let’s speak about what to do with the bubble-based packaging.

What Is Bubble Wrap?

For starters, Bubble Wrap is a trademarked time period for plastic packaging, similar to Styrofoam. In this case, Bubble Wrap began in 1957 when two engineers were attempting to make plastic wallpaper utilizing two bathe curtains. Three years later, Sealed Air began promoting the product as packaging for electronics.

Bubble Wrap is fabricated from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), or #4 plastic for these conversant in the plastic resins. LDPE can also be used for skinny plastic bags, equivalent to dry cleansing and produce luggage, in addition to plastic film and wrap. Other varieties of packing materials created from LDPE embrace air pillows and polyethylene foam.

Reuse or Recycle?

While many packaging merchandise are designed for one-time use, Sealed Air really manufactures Bubble Wrap with a number of makes use of in thoughts. However, it’s worthwhile to hold the bubbles unpopped for reuse to be an choice.

Bubble Wrap shouldn’t simply be thought of for reuse in packaging, as it will probably serve many features round the home. Here are seven ideas starting from burglar alarm to bathroom protector to plant insulator, and don’t overlook about DIY fashion opportunities.

A Bubble Wrap costume? Why not? Photo: Shutterstock

If you possibly can’t discover a reuse alternative, Bubble Wrap is recyclable. However, curbside recycling is proscribed as a result of most communities don’t choose up plastic bags and film, which may harm sorting equipment. Many grocery and different shops within the U.S. supply a plastic bag and movie recycling bin on the entrance of the shop. If your common grocery retailer doesn’t accumulate plastic luggage, test Earth911 Recycling Search for recycling choices close to you — simply enter your ZIP code.

If you don’t have close by entry to plastic bag recycling, you possibly can ship your Bubble Wrap back to Sealed Air for recycling. The firm maintains crops in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Texas, amongst different locations, and can settle for any of its packaging for recycling so long as you pay for delivery. Luckily, all plastic packaging is light-weight, so it gained’t value an excessive amount of to ship your materials for recycling.

Originally printed on June 23, 2017, this text was up to date in August 2021.