Over the years our shopping habits have changed, so many of us now buy much of our stuff online. But do we think about the amount of packaging that’s involved and where it ends up?
I once received a 5ml bottle of nail polish in a box that would have housed a pair of shoes!
Now, I get that companies can’t stock boxes to fit every single item they sell because that would be ridiculous, and they’d probably need another warehouse. But learning what to do with excess beauty packaging or any kind of wrapping once it has fulfilled its purpose is our responsibility, surely.
When I started Fresh Therapies, the one thing I was sure about, was that I would not use plastic containers, unless it was the most easily recyclable version there is.
I really do try to be as eco-friendly as I can when it comes to my packaging. From what the product sits in, to how I send it out to my customers. Which led me to find what I call ‘Good Chips’ which are 100% biodegradable starch chips. You can find out more about it here.
I’ve been using these ‘Good Chips’ for quite some time now and assumed everyone knew they were eco-friendly, also can be re-used for many a different project, (more on that in a bit).
I was wrong!
I asked one of my customers to give me honest feedback on my packaging. The feedback was not what I expected. The main comment that jumped right out was:
“You are using polystyrene blocks. This really doesn’t fit with your natural image that you want to purvey. Such material cannot be recycled.”
That really did jolt me upright in my chair. Hence my reason for sharing ways you can re-use over recycle some of the excess packaging you may encounter and the containers once they’re empty. But first you need to know if they are good to recycle or not.
How can you tell if they are Good Chips?
Well, if they are truly biodegradable, they will dissolve in water. Or you could place one on your tongue and you’ll feel it start to melt, just like those Wotsits corn puff snacks, but without the taste (there’s no taste really).
Some companies will use Polystyrene Packing Peanuts or Styrofoam. They are classed as #6 type of plastic, which is not easily recycled, so best check with your local authority for guidance. They can still be used to create great snakes or seahorses, but just be mindful where you dispose of them once the playtime is over, please.
Polystyrene is one of the most commonly used plastics in the UK and several million tons of it are produced yearly. There is no viable way to recycle polystyrene material, but Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is 100% recyclable in the country. If you want to find the nearest recycling location, check this link out.
7 Ideas on How to Reuse Excess Beauty Packaging
There are plenty of ways to reuse the packaging that comes with your products. You just need to think creatively. Instead of letting them go to the bin, use them for another purpose like the ideas below.
1: Use the ‘chips’ for creative kids crafts
From DIY packing peanut snowflakes, to popcorn garland, to art projects, Pinterest is an edifying source of ideas and instruction. You can find exciting Pins through this link.
2: Repurpose cardboard boxes to hold stuff or as part of a crafting project
Empty cardboard boxes can serve as additional storage to keep pens, coloring materials, and brushes in. To make it livelier, you can decorate it with stickers, glitter, and paint. It can also be used as a treats box for your pet’s goodies. Another idea is to keep it as a business cardholder.
3: Craft empty bottles to use as decor
Empty bottles are the easiest to repurpose because there are endless ways you can use it again. You can use it as a vase to hold a single stem of flower to brighten up a room. You can decorate it with glass paint and fill with coloured sand to use as a candle holder. If you’re nifty with arts and crafts projects, there are advanced projects that you can do if you want to take it to the next level.
4: Brew infusions and liquids and keep them in sanitized jars
No matter if you make your own oil infusions for beauty and skincare or make your own salad dressings, there’s no need to buy new jars when you can repurpose old ones. Make sure to wash the jars several times thoroughly and sanitize them before use.
5: Reuse shipping boxes and mailers again
Online shopping has made shipping boxes and mailers a necessity to ensure that products arrive at their intended destination safely. You can reuse these boxes and mailers again for shipping but make sure to cover up the old label.
6: Turn canisters into pots and planters
Some products use canisters like ones used for some coffee and tea and they make great pots and planters for succulents and other small plants.
7: Make the kids draw and colour on it
Most products come with paper and instead of chucking it to the bin, they can use these for their next art masterpiece.
Fresh Therapies Packaging Can Be Repurposed Too
These creative repurposing ideas can be applied to Fresh Therapies packaging too! If you, your children, or playgroup have made wonderful things with any of the packaging our products arrive in, please send me a picture and I’ll post it on the company’s social media pages. If you don’t want to appear in the photo, the image of the craft and your name is all I need.
Please send the pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks for reading,