Can You Recycle Bubble Mailers? (Your Full Guide)

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Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

With more and more people ordering items online today, many types of packaging materials are being used. Therefore, you have probably received more than your fair share of bubble mailers and wondered if you can recycle them?

This is a good question with a not-so-easy answer. So continue reading to find out what that is and more!

Can You Recycle Bubble Mailers?

For the most part, bubble mailers are not recyclable. Even though they typically arrive as part of a paper mailer, they should still not be placed in the recycle bin. At the same time, there are better ways to dispose of them than to throw them in the trash bin, for example, reusing them. 

Since you know that bubble mailers cannot be recycled, you are left with determining what other options might be on the table. Continue reading to learn what some of those options are when it comes to the disposing of bubble mailers!

How To Dispose Of Bubble Mailers?

As mentioned, paper bubble mailers cannot be recycled and this is because the inner layer of the bubble layer cannot be adequately separated from the outer paper layer of the envelope

Therefore, this inhibits the recycling process from separating the two components to get anything useful out of it. 

So, if you want to properly dispose of the bubble mailers you receive, it will take a bit of work. 

However, the environment will be very appreciative if you go through these extra steps before simply throwing the mailers in the trash. 

Furthermore, it all begins with understanding that bubble mailers consist of several different parts. 

Additionally, some of those parts are recyclable, while others are not. 

Now, a recycling plant is not equipped to separate those parts because it receives millions of different pieces of material each month. 

However, individuals are in a position of making this happen. 

Therefore, you will want to remove all of the different components and divide them into separate materials. 

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By doing this you will find that the paper does come off separately and it can be recycled, so place it in the proper bin.

Then, what you will be left with is the bubble wrap which is typically a non-biodegradable form of plastic that many recycling vendors can make use of. 

Next, you will take that out separately and drop it off at a plastics recycling store. 

Furthermore, as long as it has been separated from the paper, something good can come out of it as opposed to just shipping it off to a landfill. 

What Materials Are Bubble Mailers Made Of?

Bubble mailers are made of paper and plastic, and this is what makes them so difficult to recycle. 

However, the plastic used tends to depend on the manufacturer as some are fully recyclable, while others are not. 

Furthermore, you can check with the supplier to determine which type you receive in the mail. 

Are Bubble Mailers Biodegradable?

Answering this question requires a determination of the manufacturer because, some types of bubble mailers, are not biodegradable at all. 

However, newer types of mailers have entered the market that uses different materials, many of which are biodegradable. 

Furthermore, some mailers in circulation today, for example, are made with more than 33% recycled content. 

Additionally, when these are broken down by components, all of the content in the mailer can be recycled and they are biodegradable as well. 

How To Reuse And Upcycle Bubble Mailers?

How To Reuse And Upcycle Bubble Mailers?

If you are wondering how to reuse bubble mailers, you are not alone. 

Since it has become known that it is difficult to simply toss the mailers in the recycling, environmentally conscious individuals are left wondering what they can do to reuse them. 

This is a good question, and it has many possibilities. 

Furthermore, here are a few creative ideas to get your creative juices flowing in this area:

  • Save them for an upcoming move – Bubble mailers are often used today because they provide great padding. When you move fragile items, that is exactly what you need. Since you never know when you might be moving something, hold onto your bubble mailers and then use them as padding to protect against breakage. You can also place them in a box to prevent items from banging up against one another. 
  • Use them to store items away in your home or office – You always have items in your home or office that you do not want to throw away, but you do not need them for a while. You can use the bubble mailers to help protect them while they are in storage. This is because they are also useful for keeping the dust away. 
  • Use them as protection between stacked plates or picture frames – Many people use simple cardboard for this purpose, but bubble wrap works even better. This is a great way to prevent breakage, particularly during a move or while fragile items are stored away in the china cabinet or closet.  
  • Use the bubble wrap to create great works of art – You can cut up your bubble mailers, dip them in some paint, and create some great-looking bubble art. This is a fun activity that you can do with your kids. 
  • Make an iPad cover with your mailers – Get some craft materials out and prepare to make your own iPad cover. Not only will this keep your tablet safe, but it will also protect the environment at the same time. You can cover the bubble mailers with fabric and make a great-looking cover with minimal effort on your part. 
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Where To Recycle Bubble Mailers?

There are quite a few different ways you can end up recycling bubble mailers. 

We have already mentioned that you should not just place the entire mailer in the recycle bin because it simply cannot be processed that way.

Therefore, you will either need to do the work of breaking the mailer down into smaller sections, or you will need to get a bit more creative. 

Furthermore, if you do not have a use for the bubble mailer, consider taking it to a packing store that might be able to reuse it.

This is a good idea as movers are always looking for additional materials that they can use in the packing process. 

Additionally, this also delays the reality that someone might eventually place the bubble mailer in the trash. 

Are Bubble Mailers Bad For The Environment? 

If left unchecked, bubble mailers are bad for the environment because, for the most part, the envelope is not biodegradable. 

This changes if you use a different material, but you do not always have control over what you receive in the mail. 

However, if you want to prevent harm from being done to the environment, you will need to find a way to either recycle the mailers yourself or find another use for them.

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As long as they do not end up in a landfill, the harm to the environment will be minimal when it is all said and done. 


It is important to know how to properly dispose of any item you use, whether you receive it in the mail or buy it at a store. 

Furthermore, bubble mailers are no different. Since it is often difficult to know how to recycle the entire mailer, the best thing to do is either reuse it or break the mailer down into multiple components that can be recycled separately. 


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

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