Eco Bubble Mailers

Welcome! We are thrilled you're here to learn more about the eco-friendly bubble mailers you received and how to reuse them or recycle them.

When and How to Reuse EcoEnclose Bubble Mailers

Over 30% of ecommerce purchases are returned. These bubble mailers are designed to be easily reused for returns. If you are not returning this product, please save these mailers for other return or for shipping to your friends and family.

They have a dual peel-and-seal. The first time it was packaged, the top adhesive was used.

When you receive your mailer, use the tear strip to easily and neatly open your package.

You should see a remaining adhesive (a.k.a. peel-and-seal. Just put your item back in the bubble mailer, seal it shut with the second adhesive, slap a shipping label on it, and put it back in the mail.

How to Recycle EcoEnclose Bubble Mailers

Bubble mailers have multiple layers, each made with unique materials and different Resin Identification Codes (those numbers you always see inside the chasing arrows "recyclable" sign). These mailers have an outer layer made with #4 LDPE and an inside layer made with #2 HDPE. Depending on where you live, you can recycle these curbside (in your single stream bin) or at a drop off center.

1. Check Your Curbside Recycling Guidelines: A growing number of curbside recycling programs accept these mailers. Review what materials your recycling program accepts or give them a call to find out if you can drop these in your blue bin. Here is an example of how EcoCycle (our amazing waste management service in Boulder County) describes what they can accept curbside in the "single stream" recycling bin.

You might be asking, why do some programs accept bubble mailers while others do not? This is mainly driven by what sorting equipment your local "MRF" (materials recovery facility) has. MRFs are where all of your single stream recycling ends up. These plants have massive equipment and an army of incredibly impressive people that work together to sort material into material-specific bales of corrugated, paper, aluminum, glass and various plastic types. These bales of recycled material are then sold and shipped to manufacturers who use them as raw materials. Some MRFs have invested in sorting equipment that can isolate plastic film. For other MRFs, plastic film is problematic because it gets caught in the gears of machinery, requiring shutdowns and repairs

2. Deposit At Plastic Bag Drop Off: If your curbside recycling program cannot accept bubble mailers, then drop these off (along with all other clean and dry plastic bags and film in your life!) at a store drop off. We have a bin at home where we put any plastic film we won't reuse and bring them with us to the store once a month.

Countless stores participate in this service, and Plastic Film Recycling makes it so easy to find your closest options.
3. Send them back to EcoEnclose for recycling: While most North American households generally have access to thin film recycling, we know that some do not (and that some retailers shut down their thin film recycling due to COVID). In that case, EcoEnclose would love to recycle your thin film for you! Please fill your mailer with as much clean #2 or #4 plastic film as you can (the more you can fit, the more carbon efficient the recycling process will be!). Only fill it with accepted items, which can be found here.

Project Bubble: Journey to a fully recycled bubble mailer

Today, the vast majority of bubble bags are made with only virgin material. The "œEco" options that do exist today typically use vague terms such as "œup to X% recycled content" (whatever that means"¦) and have often have unverified and even misleading information (often their recycled content levels refer to just one (typically the outside) layer of a bubble mailer, not the entire mailer itself). Additionally, many padded envelopes cannot be recycled, because they have both paper and plastic or because they have foil lining. We have also found that the majority of bubble mailers are difficult to open and even more difficult to reuse.

These bubble mailers - made with AT LEAST 32.6% recycled content, easily reusable and easily recyclable - are, therefore, a very exciting step. Bubble mailers are complex to manufacture and the construction and sealing process is extremely sensitive to temperature and melting points, and highly partial to the purity and consistency of virgin content.

Now that we've come this far, we aren't stopping. We will be constantly pushing to up recycled content levels with each iteration, with a goal of eventually getting to 100%. As we up our game, and as we learn more through failures and setbacks, we'll report them here!

Want to help?

If you like what we are doing, we'd love your help! If we find more companies that want to use thoughtful, eco-friendly shipping supplies, we can invest more into R&D and improve this mailer and other shipping solutions. Please share this information with your favorite ecommerce brands!