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How to prepare your package for a collection

recycled packagingWe have recently launched our free courier collection service, which offers our customers greater flexibility and convenience when dealing with us. However, we have already received a few questions about how we prefer items to be packaged. The simple answer is: the greenest way possible!

We’re a recycling company at heart and we like to keep the environment at the forefront of everything we do, so this new service should be no different. So, we thought that we would publish a small piece on some of the easiest and cheapest ways to package an item. We understand that every item is different, so we have tried to provide a variety of examples so that at least one will work for everyone.


Packing a small item

Obviously, if you still have the original box that came with the items, that’s always the best thing to ship it in, with an outer layer of protection – like a plastic bag, secured with sticky tape –  to keep the rain out. We’ve seen plenty of these over the years, particularly when we worked almost exclusively in mobile phone recycling. Some of the best ones that we have seen include;

  • Phones being placed inside old Jaffa Cake boxes, with the excess space filled with (unused!) toilet tissue.

  • Old shoe boxes, filled with scrunched up newspaper, with the phone placed in the middle.

  • A phone being placed in a few socks with an elastic band around it and then placed in a plastic bag (to keep the rain off it) and taped up to hold everything in place.

  • Placing the phone into an unused baby’s nappy and folded up, with the sticky tabs holding everything it in place. This was, again, placed inside a carrier bag to protect it from the elements.

These examples are all cheap, easy and offer relatively good protection for your item. If you have any good ideas on how to package a phone in a green manner, we’d love to hear them!


Packing a medium sized item

We consider things like tablets and laptops to be “medium” sized items, which can present a slight issue in some cases as the it’s not always easy to find something big enough to put the item in. If you’re struggling for ideas then the following list may give you the inspiration you need.

  • Tablets, such as iPads or Galaxy Tab’s, conveniently fit nicely within your standard size cereal box. Fill the box with old newspaper or toilet tissue to hold everything in place and you’re pretty much done!

  • If you don’t have your laptop’s original box (which is excellent for shipping!) then you might consider placing it between two old pillows and taping them together, before placing them in a black refuse bag and wrapping it all up tightly.

  • We have seen laptops come through our doors in old pizza boxes, wrapped in bathroom towels.

This is the trickiest of all the sizes that we have come across but it’s still very do-able. If you’re struggling for any ideas though, you could also consider the options for bigger items below – you’ll just need a little extra padding to ensure the item doesn’t bounce around inside the box.


Packing a large item

Large items really aren’t that hard to pack for shipping. Most of the bigger items that we receive are things like desktop PC’s, so these ideas will be focused around products of a similar size. In most cases you will need a large box, perhaps from a recent household item that you may have purchased such as a microwave or television – depending on the shape and model of your computer. If you don’t have one then fear not, your local supermarket will have plenty of large boxes in reserve for customers who request them. It’s a lot more common than you think!

Nonetheless, here are a few ideas that you may choose to incorporate into your own green packaging efforts;

  • Place the item in the center of the box and fill the surrounding area with scrunched up newspaper, toilet tissue or old clothes – anything that will cushion any potential blows during transit.

  • If the item is extremely robust, you may be ok just wrapping it up in a black refuse bag to protect it from the elements.

These are just a few ideas that we had during a five minute brainstorm at the office but we would love to see what you guys can come up with. If we see something truly impressive come through the doors then we’ll naturally feel compelled to offer a prize and share your genius on our twitter and facebook accounts!

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