Plastic Bag Recycling
As a family we aim to recycle as much as we can but I recently discovered that we had been throwing away items that we could have been saving from landfill. The lovely new blogger Michelle of Retrospectively Eco (and mum of 5!) alerted me to the fact that bread bags carrying the logo below could be recycled. Look out for the text "Recycle with plastic carrier bags at Larger stores"
As I started to check more of the packaging in my shopping I found so many more bags that can actually be recycled along with carrier bags at my local supermarket.
The items I found were:
- the plastic wrap from around my diet coke multipack
- Toilet roll wrap
- some cereal inners
- bread bags
- multipack bagel bag
- many vegetable bags
After checking on the Recycle Now website I also discovered that much more is possible to recycle. In particular anything made of LDPE which is labelled with the "4" symbol can also be recycled. This can include some zip lock bags like the ones we use to safely package our weaning starter kits inside the shipping box.
The Recycle Now website has a really handy list to refer to:
My biggest surprise from the list above was bubble wrap, freezer bags, magazine wraps, the ring joiners from multi packs of cans and generally anything carrying the LDPE 4 symbol. I had no idea that these could all be recycled with plastic bags.
As a small business owner producing products to help families reduce their waste I am rather embarrassed by the fact that I haven't been recycling all these things. As of now I am checking packaging symbols much more strictly and I will be buying items that if they have to come in packaging I will opt for the brands that display these symbols.
Obviously no packaging would be best as recycling in itself takes energy and resources so I will still aim to buy what I can without packaging. If a favourite brand is not using recyclable packaging or not displaying the helpful symbols I will also be contacting them. I will also continue to use re-usable products wherever I can.
If you want to know what plastic items are recycled in your region check out the handy tool on the Recycle now website. Click the image to give it a go.
With regards to my own products. I am making changes to my own packaging to ensure that they can all be recycled as much as possible.
My 4 packs of pouches are all packed in recyclable card packaging with no plastic window film. Amazon do insist on these being packed in a plastic bag for PRIME deliveries so I am in the process of switching to LDPE which carries the number 4 symbol and can be recycled with carrier bags
The weaning kits are packed in zip lock bags and them into a shipper that fits through your letter box to reduce the amount of packaging and air shipped. The zip lock bags can be re-used or recycled with your carrier bags.
I need to do more work to improve the packaging of our snack bags and sample packs. They are currently packed in the finest gauge Cellophane bags like greetings cards are protected in. I have been experimenting with bio-degradable options but I am currently testing that these do not damage the product. As I can grow my business I will design card packaging for these items but I am afraid that my volumes haven't supported this just yet. I aim to have this sorted by the end of the year though.