Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL or SAVES MONEY
Don’t put that packaging straight in the recycling bin, but reuse it if you can
It’s great if packaging goes into the recycling properly, but even better if we can reuse it a few times first!
So, if you have just a little space available, please store cardboard boxes and re-use them when you can. Some re-uses will save you money as well as contributing to our overall lower use of resources.
Don’t forget, it’s not just the raw materials that go into making a cardboard box, but also all the water, electricity and chemicals used in the paper and card making processes.
Some ways of re-using boxes and other packaging
- re-packing items to post, such as things you might sell on eBay
- good boxes can be used to make awkward shaped gifts much easier to wrap (with non-metallic paper, of course!)
- collecting things to give to your local charity shop
- collecting household waste instead of using plastic bags and bin liners
- save to use or give to friends and family who are moving house
- big robust boxes can make great toys (castles and spaceships!)
- use in the garden under soil to prevent weeds instead of plastic sheeting *
- make into greenhouse seed trays that can then be planted entire into your garden *
- shred finely and add to your composter * **
- use them for kids’ artwork and art projects *
- think even more creatively! (see picture, right)
- have a look at this link for crafty inspiration > 17 Creative Ways to Reuse Cardboard Boxes
* remove all labels, plastic lining, plastic tape and staples first
** about 10% of your compost can be cardboard
Some tips about packaging re-use
- remove old tape and fold boxes down for storage, they take up much less space
- use plastic free packaging tape such as newer lines from “Sellotape” for rebuilding and sealing boxes
- using free old packaging means you can double-pack items at no extra cost, so transit is safer
- print a copy of this article and put it in your packages for the next person to read!
- be proud of the fact that you are helping!
- encourage your children to think about possible re-use of anything before they discard it
- take care where boxes are stapled
Why is this important?
There are plenty of benefits of reusing cardboard packaging in this way:
- saves you money on packaging materials
- reduces the use of resources, especially trees of course
- reduces water, chemical and energy use
- reduces carbon emissions
- educates others about the need to reuse before discarding things
- can reduce the use of plastic that you might otherwise consume
- reduces demands on our recycling systems or avoids landfill
- encourages creative thinking
Take action … reuse old boxes first if you can rather than disposing of them, it’s easy, free and definitely helps.