Can You Recycle Mailing Bags?

Compostable Mailing Bags

We live in the age of convenience. Shopping online is easy, simple and more and more consumers are shopping this way. But it’s not just eCommerce that’s steadily rising in popularity; it’s also the desire to shop more sustainably. In fact, 85% of consumers have become more eco-conscious about their purchases in recent years. 

Now is the best time to hop on the sustainability bandwagon and impress your customers with your eco-friendly outlook. Not only that, but you’ll be doing your bit for the environment by revolutionising your packaging — even the big brands are doing it

Recycling is an effective way to reduce packaging waste. In addition, distinct and vibrant custom designs paired with sustainable packaging can drive sales and increase engagement with your product(s). So, there’s reason enough to get keener on being greener. 

Mailing bags are a great way of sending out clothes and sturdy items like books — but not all mailing bags are made the same. If it’s paper or cardboard based, it’s likely recyclable, but what about polyethene and bubble wrap? 

Here, we’ll look at if you can recycle mailing bags and how certain materials have different eco-friendly (or not so eco-friendly!) credentials. 

Is Bubble Wrap Recyclable? 

Bubble Wrap


Fragile items require a little extra padding to keep them in top condition during transit. If you use bubble wrap in your mailing bags, you might want to know if it’s recyclable. Unfortunately, bubble wrap is made of polyethene, which can’t be recycled at home. But, some supermarkets have recycling drop-off points to process bubble wrap and other plastic-based packaging materials. 

Instead of opting for bubble wrap, look at some more sustainable options. Eco-friendly void fill can help to pack fragile products more snuggly, reducing the risk of damage. Void fills like PuffPack and EcoNutz can help protect your products and are better for the environment — why not give them a try?

Can You Recycle Padded Mailers?

Padded mailing bags are a cost-effective way to ship small deliveries while also offering protection. Often, these envelopes are padded with bubble wrap or foam inside. This makes the packaging non-recyclable due to the multiple different materials used. The mailing bag itself might be recyclable, but unless the consumer is willing to do the extra work to separate the paper from the liner, it’s a convoluted process. 

What Do You Do with Old Polyethene Mailers?

Polyethene Mailers

The majority of lightweight goods are packaged in polyethene mailing bags. They’re low-cost, water resistant and convenient to store. But, can you recycle these mailing bags? The short answer is no. You can’t recycle polyethene-based mailers at home, but you can take them to carrier bag collection points if they’re made of low-density polyethene (LDPE). In order to champion sustainability for your brand, it’s always best to make sure your packaging is entirely recyclable — and easy to dispose of. 

Which Mailing Bags Can You Recycle?

Although recycling is a good way to go more sustainable, there’s an even better choice out there. If you ship most of your products with mailing bags, consider switching to the ultimate eco-friendly alternative: compostable mailing bags. 

At Packaging Supplies, our black mailing bags are made from plant-based plastic and cornstarch, which are 100% compostable and biodegradable. Within 90 days, our mailing bags will biodegrade into organic fertiliser. Even the inks are water-based and eco-friendly, with a clear printed message emphasising the mailing bag’s green credentials. Available in 165x235mm to 420x594mm sizes, let your customers know they’re choosing an eco-friendly company; this bag won’t last forever. 

Switch to Sustainable Packaging 

Consumer interest in sustainability is on the rise, but it’s equally important to make the disposal process as easy as possible. The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) came into effect earlier this year, so going eco-friendly with your packaging can actually cut down your costs. By switching your polyethene mailing bags for a compostable alternative, you’re impressing eco-friendly customers, cutting your costs, reducing your carbon footprint and enjoying the full functionality of protecting your products in transit. It’s as simple as that.

At Packaging Supplies, all our packaging is compostable, recyclable or biodegradable. Browse our full range today and make the switch to sustainability.