4 easy steps to effectively recycle your packaging.

Who doesn't love online shopping?

Did you know packaging makes up around 30 percent of total U.S. waste annually. However, there are ways to combat the waste filling landfills. Approximately 68% of paper and cardboard are recycled.

As companies move towards sustainable and eco-friendly packaging, it's important to remember that we, as consumers, should be careful with how we dispose of our packaging waste. To reduce your impact on the environment and make sure your trash doesn't end up in a landfill for hundreds of years after you throw it away (or recycle), here are some tips on how you can safely recycle your packaging waste at home or work:

1. Evaluate your packaging materials

The first step is to identify the material of each product due to their differing processes in recycling. This step will help you determine which recycling method is best for your specific product.

2. Remove labels and residue

Many recycling plants will refuse to recycle broken or dirty items, sending them to landfill. You'll want to remove any stickers or labels on your packaging before recycling them.

3. Separate any non-recyclable items  

Suppose there are non-recyclable items such as glass or metal inside your packaging. In that case, you'll want to remove these before placing everything else into your recycling bin or bag for pickup by the city or county sanitation department (depending on where you live). When you mix recyclable materials with non-recyclables, the whole batch can be considered contaminated and won't be recycled.

4. Find the proper drop-off spots

After a material goes through the recycling procedure, it is often sent to another location where it will be processed into new products. Finding the right place for your hard-to-recycle or unconventional packaging ensures adequate recycling.

Recycling packaging can be a little confusing, but if you follow these tips and ensure you recycle your goods at the right place, you'll be helping to save our planet from waste, pollution, and decreased resource supplies.