Currently, many businesses and individuals use cheap bubble mailers to send a variety of goods, ranging from valuable ordered goods to presents for loved ones. These cheap mailers offer a number of benefits:for example, they are an extremely sturdy shipping option, help cushion the object being mailed on its journey, and when you purchase buy your bubble envelopes wholesale, they are extremely affordable. However, wholesale bubble envelopes cannot be recycled, and the rate at which they are being used is making it difficult for recycling centers to meet demand. Between major online retailers like Amazon and Ebay alone, several billion bubble mailers may be used, which recycling centers must then separate from the rest of the trash stream and then discard. Fortunately, a man in Seattle is trying to create a solution: currently, Alan Goldwasser is collecting used packaging supplies around the city’s Capitol Hill area and reusing them.
A private consigner for Amazon who has lived in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district for twenty years, Goldwasser connects with individuals, organizations and businesses throughout Seattle to reuse their packaging. Many people and companies now specifically save all of their packaging for him, allowing them to reduce the amount of refuse they produce. Goldwasser has even been able to create a designated drop-off spot at Retrofit Home, local a furniture store, where he accepts donations of bubble mailers, foam wrap, bubble wrap and other recyclable and non-recyclable mailing products. However, he does not accept peanuts or air pillow packers.
Some might call Goldwasser’s plan self-serving, as he reuses all of the free, donated packaging for his own mailing service instead of simply ordering wholesale bubble envelopes. However, Goldwasser says he would still try to reuse packaging even if it wasn’t free: he says his environmentally-friendly business model may be a little less attractive than traditional wholesale bubble mailers, but he thinks the benefits are worth the consequences. It may not be the right choice for every business, but until a method is found to recycle bubble mailers, it is reassuring that someone trying to make a difference.