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How to Successfully Compost 'Compostable' Mailer Bags

~ We all hate excess packaging and waste

We all know when we have purchased an item online and get a shock to have it arrive covered in plastic and extra packaging.  What are we to do with all that waste?

~ People love sustainable packaging

Businesses and customers have embraced sustainable packaging options available for both the sender and the buyer.  

People actually enjoy feeling they are doing the right thing by reusing or disposing of the packaging they receive; they just need to know how to do it.  They can use paper to wrap items and send to someone else in the future or find other ways to use the packaging (think reusing a box for storing items at home). 

~ It's great to have compostable mailer bags, but how do we do it?

Compostable mailers are a fantastic idea, made from natural ingredients like corn and tapioca starch, at the end of their life they can be composted and break down in the soil with your other scraps and waste matter.

Below is an infographic from www.heropackaging.com.au  which clearly shows you how to correctly dispose of all compostable mailers.  We've tried it and it really works 😊

The four important steps are :

  1. Remove the label and any tape (some labels and tape are also compostable, but it would be best to check with the business you have purchased from).
  2. Cut the mailer into thin strips which will help it to break down faster.
  3. Place into compost bin (the mailer strips will act in the same way as brown waste materials (like leaves and paper).  At this point it is important to add in some 'green' waste too such as food scraps, tea leaves or fresh grass cuttings - for every two parts of brown waste, you need one part of green.
  4. Rotate and aerate every few days to allow oxygen to flow through the compost.

~ A couple of other hints!

To dispose of plastic mailers like those from Australia Post, these can be recycled via the Redcycle system (in Coles & Woolworths supermarkets).  This also goes for any other soft plastic wrapping you receive in a parcel. 

Did you know you can reuse mailers too?  Some mailers have two closure strips so when you receive a parcel, there is another strip that can be used for the next time you post to someone else.  You can also turn a mailer inside out and readdress to a new recipient!

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