Can You Reuse Amazon Bubble Mailers?

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With all the online shopping that you've all been doing, chances are you've accumulated a lot of Amazon bubble mailers. You're hesitant to throw them away and you're wondering if you could reuse them to help save the environment. That's what we asked the experts and here's what we found out.

Yes, you can reuse your Amazon bubble mailers that are still in good condition. Once you've put the item inside, seal the mailer using packing tape. Remove the old labels and details or cross them out then put the new shipping details on the designated portion so that your item can reach its intended destination.

Keep on reading so we can tell you more about how to reuse your bubble mailers and why it's important to do so. We'll also answer if USPS bubble mailers are free, if they are considered envelopes, and if you could reuse a box for shipping. We'll also teach you how to make your bubble mailers. Let's begin!

large Amazon Prime delivery consisting of several packages delivered to the front door of a home. Can You Reuse Amazon Bubble Mailers

How do you reuse mailers?

Now more than ever it's important to do our little ways to protect our environment. One way to do that is by reusing our plastics so that they won't just go to waste.

With the advent of e-commerce and online shopping, we get our fair share of bubble mailers when we have our orders shipped to our homes. Although some bubble mailers are made with eco-friendly materials, the truth is, that most of them are not.

Bubble mailers, as the word implies, are mail bags used for shipping. They have been padded with bubble wrap in their interior.

Ordinary bubble mailers have a paper exterior while poly bubble mailers are made of plastic. Either way, they use plastic bubble wraps that are not bio-degradable. It'll take 10 to 10,000 years before they decompose in our landfills.

That's why it is a very good idea to reuse your bubble mailers. This can be your little way of helping our planet. Not to mention that you get to save on the cost of bubble mailers. So it's really a win-win for you!

Amazon Japan kraft bubble mailer padded envelope with delivery notice

Reusing bubble mailers

As long as the bubble mailer is still in good condition, you can reuse it to ship another item. We would like to reiterate this. Make sure you check the packaging if it is still fit to use so that the item to be shipped is still protected inside the mailer.

Here are the steps to be able to use it again for shipping:

  1. Put the item to be shipped inside the old bubble mailer.
  2. Seal the mailer using packing tape.
  3. Cross out the old label and markings to avoid confusion.
  4. Indicate the new shipping details on the bubble mailer so that it'll reach its proper destination.

That's it! So simple, right? You're able to help save our planet by reusing one bubble mailer at a time.

Are USPS bubble mailers free?

Shipping your items can be costly. Aside from the stamps or shipping fee, you also have to buy the right packing materials.

You can't send your item without the proper packaging. And the thing is, they aren't free.

You can buy ReadyPost bubble mailers at USPS online and at your local post office. The price would depend on the size and quantity that you need. According to their website, a pack of 24 medium-sized bubble mailers would cost $43.80 while a pack of 36 large-sized padded mailers would be $79.

You get to save an average price of $2 per bubble mailer that you reuse. This might not seem much to some people but if your business involves shipping items regularly, you get to save a lot of bucks in the long run.

And of course, you help save our environment by reducing plastic waste. That's the real deal here.

But if you want to get your shipping supplies for free, check USPS' offer regarding Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. They can have the supplies delivered to you for free as long as you take their offer of flat shipping rates anywhere in the US.

bubble wrap envelope opened on black background

Are bubble mailers considered envelopes?

Why does this question matter? It means a lot in determining the shipping rate.

Obviously, the smaller the size of the packaging, the lower the shipping costs. They weigh less or don't occupy significant space in the carrier.

Of course, we don't want to spend too much on shipping fees! One way to avoid expensive rates is by fitting your items for shipping inside the envelope.

Shipping bubble mailers can be tricky especially if you don't get the service provider's flat-rate package. Their shipping cost would depend on the thickness of the bubble mailer.

For your reference, padded mailers that are not more than 3/4 inch thick are considered an envelope. You can put one forever stamp on them and you're good to go.

Beyond this thickness level, the bubble mailers would already be considered a package. They would be subject to appropriate fees that would apply depending on the weight and mail class of the item for shipping.

It follows that the cost of shipping is higher for packages. So if you could fit your product inside a bubble mailer, the better.

Can you make your own bubble mailers?

If you don't have bubble mailers with you and you need to have a small but fragile item shipped, or you're simply being resourceful, you can make your own bubble mailer.

Remember that bubble mailers are just paper or plastic envelopes with bubble wrap lining inside. You'll just pattern your padded mailers from these envelopes. Here's how to do it.

Materials

  • brown paper bag or cardstock
  • bubble wrap
  • glue
  • scissors
  • ruler

Procedure

  1. Cut your paper bag or cardstock according to the size of the envelope that you need. Don't forget to add an extra inch all around the perimeter.
  2. Make two sheets for the two sides of your envelope.
  3. Cut the bubble wrap according to the same size as your envelope sheets.
  4. Put glue on one side of your envelope sheets.
  5. Lay the bubble wrap over the glue. Press it against the surface.
  6. Allow the glue to dry.
  7. Put the envelope sheets together, with the bubble wraps facing inside and the non-bubble wrap surface at the exterior.
  8. You can glue, tape, or stitch the edges together but leave one of the shorter sides open.
  9. Insert your product for shipping.
  10. Seal the bubble mailer.
  11. Provide the shipping details in front of the packaging.

There you go! You've just made your very own bubble mailer!

Courier packing cardboard boxes in van and preparing them for delivery

Can I reuse a box for shipping?

Since we're on the subject of reusing, you might be wondering if you could also reuse your cardboard boxes. Although these packaging materials are eco-friendly, they cost more than bubble mailers. That's why it would be a big help if you could cut down on this part of the shipping cost.

Same with bubble mailers, you can also reuse your shipping boxes as long as they are still fit and safe to use for transporting your products.

Experts suggest that you remove all of the old markings before shipping. This will help avoid confusion regarding the handling of the product. If you fail to do so, USPS will handle the shipping box as indicated in the original packaging.

For example, there's a sign on the box that says Priority Mail Express, USPS will charge you for that kind of service even if you didn't intend to send your box through that mail class because of high rates.

So make sure you inspect the box properly before you reuse it.

amazon packages, boxes, bubble mailers on white background. Can You Reuse Amazon Bubble Mailers

Final Thoughts

Go ahead and reuse your bubble mailers and save money and Mother Nature as you do so.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you may check out the following links for more packing resources:

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