Non-Recyclable Item of the Month: Air-Filled Packaging

Bubble wrap, air pillow, inflatable packaging, bubble roll, bubble tubing… this product goes by many names, but the bottom line is the same: none of it is really recyclable. The makers of these products would like for you to think these items are recyclable and generally will put a recycle symbol on the product. This causes a lot of confusion for the conscious citizen trying to do the right thing.

Let us set the record straight… Ok, so bubble wrap is not 100% non-recyclable. Here’s the catch: in order to recycle air-filled packaging, all of the air must be released and the plastic film would then need to be sorted and bundled (i.e. grouped) with other plastic film like grocery bags and translucent, thin plastic. The plastic must also be clean.

Here at The Exchange, reuse is King! So, we want to take this opportunity to encourage you to reuse air-filled packing materials. Here is a link to show you 15 uses for bubble wrap you never thought of, including using it to insulate the windows in your home!

Also, our local Aeronautical Services office (i.e. UPS) will accept clean air-filled packaging (as well as provide it) for reuse efforts. If you have some extra, take it to Aeronautical Services. If you need some extra, stop by or call (360) 376-5730 to see if some is available.

And when reuse is no longer an option and you are ready to recycle your air-filled packaging: remember it must be clean, sorted, deflated, and bundled before bringing it to The Exchange/ORS for processing.