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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd like to add my 2 cents to this topic, because it's something I am concerned with as well. I reuse clean packing materials, and I ask some trusted people give me what they collect as well. If you live near an Ikea, the dishes in their kitchen department all have thin foam pieces in between. People leave those on the shelf when they buy dishes, and the employees just throw them out. They will give them to you if you ask nicely. :)  There are probably all kinds of businesses like that where you can ask for supplies. Reusing something is better than buying new, if it was already heading for the trash. I like the idea of the autobody foam too, @oldlady It sounds like the same type of foam and you can have bigger pieces when needed.

Most ceramics should be double boxed except little things like mugs. I've not had anything break since I began doing that. I'd rather make it bomb proof than have to remake a special piece. If you have more than one item, wrap them individually and then wrap them together so they don't move at all. It's them clanking together that will break them rather than force from outside the box. I use rubber bands, bubble wrap or kraft paper to bind them. Before you seal it, shake the box. If you hear anything, add more stuffing. 2 inches of insulation all around, and under a little pressure, so it's like a jack in the box when you open it. 

I bought boxes from a local manufacturer that is a 10 minutes drive from me. That way, they don't need to ship them. They have other supplies as well, like kraft paper, tape, etc. I don't use Uline because I don't support their political views and there are lots of local places to get supplies around me. I bought boxes because that way I don't have to try to scramble to get ones to nest in each other. Also, they are just the sizes I want, so I need less packing material inside them. Other than that, I haven't bought any shipping supplies except tape. I will switch to paper tape once my plastic tape runs out, that's a good idea. 

I try to remember the three R's of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle. Right now everything is shipped, so it's hard to reduce the amount of stuff we're using, but the next step is to reuse what's already here instead of buying something new unless that's the only option.  

I've also thought about adding a note in there, along the lines of "Packed with reused/recycled materials, please keep the cycle going by reusing or donating" It may spark somebody to think about it! I wish they could donate it back to me! :lol: 

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I'm a little outside the usual packing materials here, as I use popcorn. I usually mail out 20 chalice sets in two months to colleges all around the country.  These are packed in 14/14/14 boxes with two layers of bubble wrap, and regular popcorn popped in a dry popper. Takes one bulk bag to do the job, and there is no biohazard. I rattle free with lots of compression and tape on all edges and across the centers. I put a memo in that they can just pour the popcorn out on the yard and let the birds eat it. 

 

best,

Pres

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So, my husband has worked in shipping and logistics for the last 15 years or so. At one point in his career it was his job to to send electronics, and hazardous materials for scientific analysis over international borders. So he’s passingly familiar with convoluted shipping rules we all fear falling afoul of. He says first, using popcorn is a draw for rodents in warehouses, and please, for the sake of people who work there, don’t. Also, using popcorn may be illegal, depending on where you’re sending it to. There are some surprisingly strict, yet obscure rules about shipping foodstuffs, prepared or otherwise, to various states with sensitive ecosystems or weird laws. Sending across international borders, even just between the US and Canada may also complicate things. Some places have rules about sourcing, importing and labelling certain GMO products, and corn is frequently GMO. Cornstarch peanuts don’t count because they’re not technically a foodstuff. Now, no one is searching your packages for contraband packing material, and you can clearly do this for years with no issues whatsoever. You’re wildly unlikely to get nailed by anyone on it, unless you’re violating other rules. But maybe use something else if shipping to another country.

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I never use popcorn when sending to another country, using Styrofoam peanuts. Have only used popcorn when sending to an immediate US recipient, and have never had any problems with my USPS service about shipping in popcorn, other than them complaining about getting hungry.

 

best,

Pres

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On 1/10/2021 at 10:04 AM, kswan said:

I'd like to add my 2 cents to this topic, because it's something I am concerned with as well. I reuse clean packing materials, and I ask some trusted people give me what they collect as well. If you live near an Ikea, the dishes in their kitchen department all have thin foam pieces in between. People leave those on the shelf when they buy dishes, and the employees just throw them out. They will give them to you if you ask nicely. :)  There are probably all kinds of businesses like that where you can ask for supplies. Reusing something is better than buying new, if it was already heading for the trash. I like the idea of the autobody foam too, @oldlady It sounds like the same type of foam and you can have bigger pieces when needed.

Most ceramics should be double boxed except little things like mugs. I've not had anything break since I began doing that. I'd rather make it bomb proof than have to remake a special piece. If you have more than one item, wrap them individually and then wrap them together so they don't move at all. It's them clanking together that will break them rather than force from outside the box. I use rubber bands, bubble wrap or kraft paper to bind them. Before you seal it, shake the box. If you hear anything, add more stuffing. 2 inches of insulation all around, and under a little pressure, so it's like a jack in the box when you open it. 

I bought boxes from a local manufacturer that is a 10 minutes drive from me. That way, they don't need to ship them. They have other supplies as well, like kraft paper, tape, etc. I don't use Uline because I don't support their political views and there are lots of local places to get supplies around me. I bought boxes because that way I don't have to try to scramble to get ones to nest in each other. Also, they are just the sizes I want, so I need less packing material inside them. Other than that, I haven't bought any shipping supplies except tape. I will switch to paper tape once my plastic tape runs out, that's a good idea. 

I try to remember the three R's of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle. Right now everything is shipped, so it's hard to reduce the amount of stuff we're using, but the next step is to reuse what's already here instead of buying something new unless that's the only option.  

I've also thought about adding a note in there, along the lines of "Packed with reused/recycled materials, please keep the cycle going by reusing or donating" It may spark somebody to think about it! I wish they could donate it back to me! :lol: 

The local pet shop donates alllll their bubble wrap to me.  They stuff it in a big  box and I pick it up. They are delighted to not be sending it to the landfill.  I bring it home and sort it and roll it up into rolls, ready for use (some of the sheets are quite long) and store it until I am ready to use it.  I like your idea of putting a note in the box concerning the reused/recycled materials.  I will borrow that idea if that is ok with you.  Just that small recycling gesture saved me $$, saved space in the landfill, and hopefully someone else will reuse what I sent to them.  I get enough bubble wrap that I am also able to share with other maker friends.     @Mark C. does an amazing job of using materials he has on hand for packing.  He cuts up clay boxes and wraps it around the pot in the box, for stability.  I saved his example so I can replicate.  Let us use what we have on hand!!

Roberta

 

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Recently I mailed out six boxes (about 12" x 7" best guess) and actually got 2 complements on how well the ceramics were packed & protected. All the packing was done with materials I reused, got for free, or created from something else. When I got my Thermal Light shelves, I got a massive supply of Styrofoam and tons of bubble wrap! I use clean former food containers as small plastic boxes for catchalls etc., with packing inside & outside the containers. Great repurposing for all that Chinese take-out I so frequently enjoy! The large Hot & Sour soup containers  are terrific for holding dried trimmings from smalls--keeping in mind I am a snail and do not do volume/production, so the quart containers do the trick;  3-5 of them and I am ready to reclaim without being overwhelmed. Cheaper than Tupperware, too! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

https://www.ecoenclose.com Is a great source for biodegradable shipping materials. I use The Green Wrap which works great and is quite affordable compared to plastic bubble wrap and foam and also use the starch peanuts for filler that I get from https://www.associatedbag.com . I do a ton of shipping so need to purchase cardboard boxes and supplies. If you don’t ship a lot yet, good old newspapers and used boxes work great! If you have a good supply, double box . :)

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