Recently, Australia Post initiated a recycling program for their branded mailing satchels and padded bags. Unfortunately, these satchels are not currently recyclable through regular home recycling. Thanks to Terracycle, satchels can now be collected and returned for recycling.
If you like to shop online, you have probably chucked a few of those plastic satchels in the bin in your time. Let’s face it, they are a convenient and economical way to arrange carriage of goods across the country, and many small businesses will use them.
Well, if you work in an office who are participating in the recycling program, there’ll be a collection point where you can drop off your used satchels. There may be a collection box at your local post office or newsagent, too. However, these options might not be available to you.
Which is why we decided to transition to a more eco-oriented mailing solution. Our new mailing satchels are made from 88% recycled, post-consumer and post-industrial content. They are also fully recyclable, so you can chuck these ones in the household recycling bin! Plus, the nifty tear strip makes these new mailers super-easy to open – getting you in touch with your new fabric that much faster!
And while we are on the subject of bags, if you live in Australia you’ll be aware of the recent steps taken by supermarket chain Woolworths, who have completely removed single-use plastic bags from the checkout process. (Yes, we know there are still plastic bags in the fruit and veg section, but every little step counts!)
So reusable bags are a hot topic right now! I whipped up a couple of market bags, using a cute deco print I picked up on my last trip to Japan, plus some plain cotton leftovers for lining and a few bits of webbing from my stash.
If you are thinking of making your own shopping bags, there are hundreds of tutorials and free patterns available online. Check your stash for leftover prints, or hit the op shop for some old linens or retro tea-towels that can be given a new lease of life as a shopping bag.
I have some produce bags by Onya, but you could make your own of these, too! All you need is some lightweight mesh fabric (old gauze curtains are a great option!) or muslin, to whip up a couple of little drawstring bags.
July is a great month to start making and using reusable cloth bags. Check out Plastic Free July for more ideas on cutting down consumption of single-use plastics.
Which brings me to the third bag of this post!
One thing you may not have known is that our activewear fabric friends, polyester and nylon, are still shedding tiny microfibers every time we chuck them in the wash. Unfortunately, because these fibres are essentially plastic, they never biodegrade – they just break into smaller and smaller pieces, ending up in our oceans and waterways, sucking up toxins and ending up in the food of all sorts of water creatures.
Don’t fret just yet though! There is a way we can minimise the microfibers being shed each time we launder our activewear. Some very clever people in Germany came up with the Guppy Friend – a laundry bag which captures microfibers, preventing them from going out with the wash water. Backed by enviro-conscious clothing company Patagonia, Langbrook were able to produce these bags for sale to the public. In the US you can purchase through Patagonia, and the rest of the world can buy direct from Langbrook. (Aussies – Patagonia Australia’s online shop lists these as ‘coming soon’, but you can order from Europe – I just did!)
Have you whipped up any shopping or produce bags lately? Are you participating in Plastic Free July? Leave a comment below - we'd love to hear from you!