How to make packaging compostable.

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eco-friendly glue
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Q: Do you know what is better than man-made recycling?

A: natural recycling.
These days, I feed my worms for free with my unwanted packaging materials. And in return, they give me the best soil imaginable. It's also interesting to check out all the different sorts of bugs crawling around in my worm farm. I find that more interesting than watching television.
OK. I started doing this because all that cardboard would not fit into our yellow recycling bin.
I did some research and it turns out that much of the material you think is being recycled is not. In my local area, councils refuse to recycle plastic bags (or satchels) for instance.
The good news is that I don't spend a single cent on boxes, packaging or envelopes now. I just reuse what is around the house. Mostly it comes from packages that other people send me. I just put most of the old satchels I get into a bigger A3-sized satchel. That saves me buying stuff and it saves even more stuff from going in landfill...
The only trouble is that often I get packages with all sorts of plastic on them and I have to separate the plastic bits. So I went shopping and found out a whole bunch packaging materials that can be composted..
eco-friendly sticky tape
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eco-friendly sticky tape

Did you know that quality sellotape is compostable?

The catch is that it has to be made of cellulose, which is more expensive than other types of plastic.
One of them is this eco friendly glue by Tesa. I always use that to glue the flaps on my envelopes, etc. I also stick bits of paper over the old addresses. I will save up my old satchels and do this about ten or twenty at a time.
The Sellotape brand sells this enviro tape which is my favourite because its easier to tear off than other types of sticky tape.
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Compostable/recycleable packaging

Carboard makes up the bulk of my packaging. I always use cardboard packaging material where possible over plastic because no matter what anyone tells you, it can either be recycled or composted.
Low Density PolyEthylene (LDPE), the most commonly-used packaging plastic, can't be composted.

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Compostable packaging fillers

For filler materials, I prefer to use the green packaging peanuts that are also pictured here. Those are also made from celloluse. You can double-check if they are compostable by wetting them. If they dissolve in fresh water, you know they are compostable. If you get these, it pays to keep these for future use!
If you don't want to do that, another alternative is to shred old bits of paper for use as a filler material, but that can make things a bit dusty over time.
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Ready-made compostable satchels / enveoples

Keep in mind that if you can't be bothered with all this, then at least purchase the more natural materials wherever possible. My local Post Office sells both recycled envelopes (filled with shredded paper, which is good) and plastic envelopes (which contain bubble wrap, which is bad*).

Anyway, I have written this guide within about 20 minutes. I just thought I'd get it out there as fast as possible, and also to explain why some of my packages look a bit 'old' from the outside...
I hope you find this guide useful!
Thanks very much,
Dr. Leslie Dean Brown

*Because eventually, some plastic finds its way into our oceans, and that is just not cool.
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