All the packaging material, where does it go?

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We have been living in the USA for 5 years now. This is the promised land of delivery, it is fast and very convenient – no need to go to post offices or lockers to pick up your packages. Because it is so easy, people order stuff straight to their homes instead of going shopping in the markets and stores.

It’s a bummer it is not only the cardboard box that arrives with your items. Sometimes the whole cover is a thick “plastic bag” and very often the protective material is bubble wrap. And we should not forget the tapes, plastic ribbons, and strings keeping it all together.

 Where does all this material go, after we open the boxes and bags? It depends on the country, state, and city if or how the recycling has been arranged. Unfortunately, even if some of the material is recyclable it does not mean it will perfectly and harmlessly disappear. In 2018 1.1 billion kilos of plastic waste were shipped to Asian countries, (Hongkong, Malaysia, Thailand as examples) from the USA only (and it is not the only country practicing this kind of exporting). As the recycling system does not work as planned, a remarkable amount of the waste will end up in landfills and the ocean. Out of sight, out of mind – from our perspective.

Luckily companies have started to pay attention to this and committed to reducing plastic. Amazon for example promised 2019 to remarkably reduce the use of single-use plastics by June 2020. If we as consumers support brands and companies going plastic-free, the need for harmful material choices will decrease. 

So why to use plastic for packaging when we don’t need to – obviously some health and safety requirements being an exception? Package Free is one great example of companies that have devoted to taking care of this packaging material issue. Package Free is actually an “ecosystem of brands” that sells sustainable and responsible products from different brands and packs them without plastic! Behind this “ecosystem” is Lauren Singer, the woman who fitted 8 years of waste in a mason jar! She is one of those persons who does go above and beyond, but her work helps us to take simple steps that matter, and she and her co-workers have made it easy!

Because, you know, there is no “away”, what has been created, does not disappear even though it has been thrown “away”. Why create all this plastic if we don’t need it? Let’s not want it!

Plastic waste from the ocean has ended up to the beautiful beach.
Plastic waste on a beach. Picture Sergei Tokmakov, Esq. from Pixabay

I ordered Bamboo toilet paper, face cleanser, and a shampoo bar from Package Free, and I was impressed by the variety of products and brands they have. They also have a point and rewards system, if you are interested in that kind of possibility. Their support was very friendly and responsive and the company does offer international shipping.

If you wish to make an order, click this LINK
and get $10 towards your first order of $40+.

Here are some links about plastic packaging to explore:

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