If you regularly sell or order things online, you have probably come across kraft mailers – you know, those light brown ones. And while they do make the transportation of your order safer, it is way too easy to end up with a bunch of them in your house.
So what do you do when your midnight shopping expedition leaves you with way too many kraft mailers? Can you recycle them?
Well, this is the information we intend to share today.
Are kraft mailers recyclable?
Yes, kraft mailers can be recycled. In fact, many curbside recycling programs accept them.
How are kraft mailers recycled?
The process of recycling kraft mailers isn’t that complicated. In fact, it has only 3 steps:
- Sorting – This involves sorting the different types of kraft paper that come to the recycling facility. This step is particularly important because some kraft products also contain corrugated cardboard or poly-liner.
- Baling and transportation – Once the sorting is completed, the kraft paper is packed in bales and transported to a mill. This ensures that there is no space wastage.
- Milling – At the mill, the kraft material will be pulped, cleaned, deinked, bleached, and remanufactured into new materials. Sometimes, it can even be made into new kraft mailers.
Challenges to kraft recycling
Recycling kraft is usually made more difficult by:
The more contaminants there are on kraft paper, the more difficult it is to recycle. This is especially a problem when the said contaminant needs a chemical process for it to be removed.
Known as prohibitives, these kinds of contaminants can damage recycling equipment and even reduce the quality of the recycled material. This is usually evidenced by a decrease in fiber strength and length.
Since recycled kraft paper is usually of a lower quality than non-recycled one, it fetches lower market prices. And when contaminants have reduced the quality further, market prices go lower still.
Are kraft mailers compostable?
Some kraft mailers can be composted while others can’t. If compostability is important to you, aim to buy mailers from companies like noissue and EcoEnclose that go out of their way to manufacture using compostable packaging materials.
Compostable mailers are usually made of 100% pure paper.
Are kraft mailers eco-friendly?
While mailers weren’t traditionally eco-friendly, manufacturers are now adopting practices that make them more eco-conscious.
- Using responsibly sourced material.
- Using 100% recycled materials.
- Using recyclable materials.
Ultimately, this has led to the growing popularity of eco-friendly kraft mailers such as those produced by Eco-Shipper, Dura-Bag, and Eco-Natural.
Reuse, recycle, or compost kraft mailers
To avoid piling, it is best to find ways to reuse mailers in your home as soon as possible.
You could use them to send gifts to your friends or even for crafting. But if it’s already too late and you have too many kraft mailers, recycling is your best bet.
And if they are wet or have some organic dirt that could make recycling hard, just throw them into your compost – they will be gone in no time!