Can You Recycle Bubble Wrap? ♻️ Recycling Tips In Australia
Can You Recycle Bubble Wrap? ♻️: At last, the picture frame you ordered for your family picture finally came!
Then comes the unboxing; you find your picture frame covered in bubble wrap.
But first, you decide to play a little… Pop-pop-pop! Seems very fun, right? Popping bubble wraps, I mean.
After playing with it, what now?
So, what can you do with bubble wraps after usage?
Then, something comes to your mind. It got you wondering “Can you recycle bubble wrap?”
A bit about Waster
Have you checked out Waster and its services yet? If not, then let me break it down for you.
Waster is a company dedicated to helping small and medium businesses reduce cost and boost recycling!
We also provide a flexible 30-day agreement and high-quality customer service. No need to look for other companies with lock-in contracts and hidden fees, Waster erases all that possibility!
While you’re at it, why don’t you have a read at our blog about soft plastic recycling? – very much connected to our blog for today.
Click on the blue button below for more information.
On to the blog about recycling bubble wraps!
Discovering if you can recycle bubble wrap
Before anything else, let me share with you a brief description of the ever-fascinating bubble wrap.
Bubble wrap is a type of packaging material that contains air trapped in small bubbles designed to cushion and shield fragile materials. The makings of bubble wrap include plastic – polyethylene, to be precise – put together with air bubbles sandwiched in between to provide cushioning.
Bubble wrap is actually a branded product which made its way into the world about 60 years ago – specifically 1957 – by accident. Engineers Alfred Fielding and Swiss chemist slash business partner Marc Chavannes are the accredited inventors of bubble wrap.
Why an accident? Well, what they were first trying to accomplish was creating a textured wallpaper to appeal to the rapidly increasing Beat generation. Instead, they created a sheet of film with trapped air bubbles that would be later known as the ever-famous bubble wrap.
Now that we discussed some things about bubble wrap that proves to be useful to learn, we now head into the main topic at hand.
But before that, were you thinking of recycling your plastic bags? Read our blog here at Waster to learn more!
The good and the bad with bubble wrap
Like literally anything else on Earth, bubble wraps have good and bad sides in using them.
For the good part, it lies mostly on its utilisation.
It protects fragile items in shipping and storing. In fact, this is due to its material that contains shock and vibration protection for the items.
Using bubble wrap is also a cheap way to ship items. By using bubble wrap, you lessen the packing materials needed as bubble wrap in itself already provides good protection.
Did you know that environmentally friendly biodegradable wraps now exist? Like any other biodegradable materials, it breaks down significantly quicker than its plastic counterpart and gets completely absorbed into the soil.
Speaking of biodegradables and breaking down, do you want to know more about it? Then, read our blog on how long trash tends to disappear and learn more.
Delving deeper into the discussion of whether or not you can recycle bubble wrap, we talk about its bad side.
Bubble wraps also have negative effects, especially on the environment.
First, it contains toxic materials. As we here at Waster always discuss, polyethylene is a very toxic material that should not be left to break down in landfills. Read our blog on landfills in Australia to know more.
Second, it takes a very long time for bubble wrap to break down. It may take centuries before a buried bubble wrap completely decomposes, so we should be careful about what we put not just in landfills, but everywhere.
Lastly, bubble wraps are flammable hazards. It can catch on fire easily, with 200 degrees as its melting point and 500 degrees to become flammable.
Additionally, bubble wraps also give off irritating vapours that can cause a person to have respiratory problems when inhaled.
Can you recycle bubble wrap? Yes, but…
Short answer: Yes, you can. Any bubble wrap that you cannot reuse or repurpose again can be recycled by going through the proper process.
“Why does it have to go to a proper process?”, you might ask. Well, soft plastics get rejected by council kerbside recycling bins. That is because soft plastics – such as bubble wraps – tend to get caught in the local recycling machinery that can possibly shut down the whole recycling system.
However, thanks to environmentally friendly enthusiast REDcycle; they made recycling bubble wraps much easier! A very good way of keeping plastic materials off landfills, REDcycle accepts these materials and turn them into recycled plastic products.
Important Note: As of 9 November 2022, REDcycle is on a temporary pause.
First, you should collect any soft plastic and packaging materials you have at home – which of course includes bubble wrap – and put them in a bin. Waster provides general waste bins to collect all those plastics – bubble wrap included – that cannot be accepted by local councils for recycling.
Take note that before you send off your collected soft plastics, you should first make sure that they are clean, dry, and empty to ensure acceptance and proper recycling.
Second, you then drop your collected soft plastics at the nearest REDcycle drop off point. Lastly, you won’t have to do anything else as the RED group and Replas will take care of the recycling process.
According to REDcycle, here are some of the materials that can be collected by the program:
- Biscuit packets
- Bread bags
- Bubble wrap
- Cat and dog food pouches
- Cellophane from bunches of flowers
- Cereal box liners
- Chip and cracker packets
- Chocolate and snack bar wrappers
- Cling film
Visit their website for more information to learn more about recycling bubble wraps and other materials.
Now, you know that bubble wrap can indeed be recycled!
Conclusion: you can recycle bubble wrap!
Bubble wraps can indeed be recycled! REDcycle gives us an option to help fight off pollution and avoiding soft plastics – such as bubble wraps – going into landfills.
Having said all of these, reducing and reusing is still the most effective way to become environmentally friendly for the sustainability of the Earth.
Waster: partners of small and medium businesses in waste management
Turn your place into a garbage-free environment! Waster focuses on helping Australian businesses delivering low-cost and excellent customer service. You never have to worry about disposing of garbage like discarded bubble wraps!