Out-of-The-Box Ideas For Recycling Your HelloFresh Packaging April 21, 2020

by Lifestyle

Earth Day is this Wednesday, and we’re celebrating in a BIG way here at HelloFresh with out-of-the-box recycling projects to inspire you to put that packaging to good use.

recycling projects-earth-day-HelloFresh-DIY

Get this: according to the EPA, food isn’t the only component of municipal solid waste in the United States (although it is important, which is why we addressed the issue of food waste here). Organic materials such as paper and paperboard are big ones, too.

But with a touch of creativity, you can repurpose different elements of your HelloFresh box in creative ways and keep dinnertime as green as your greens.

In honor of Earth Day, we also wanted to share some important HelloFresh stats and milestones with you as we journey towards fully curbside recyclable packaging:

  • Our summer cotton liner is made from 85% recycled materials, and the poly bag is 100% curbside recyclable.
  • Our cascade honeycomb liner is made from 100% recycled paperboard, and the pop-box is made from 100% paper certified for its curbside recyclability.
  • Our kit bags are 100% recyclable and have allowed us to reduce the box size by an average of 20% (compared to the size of the box with kit boxes rather than bags).

recycling projects-HelloFresh-earth-day-packaging

Any other recycling projects we haven’t thought of? Let us know in the comments, and remember to tag #HelloFreshPics so we can see your ingenious creations.

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Lisa says:

I am curious as to whether I can use the filling of the frozen bag in with some of my planters to help keep the soil moist and reduce the amount of times I need to water my plants.

SARAH says:

Could the cotton insulation be safely repurposed for sleeping bag filler?

Jordan Schultz says:

Good question– One which we’d have to check with our supplier about.

Michael says:

Why can your bags and cotton insulation simply be sanitized and reused by you? When next weeks shipment comes in, the carrier picks up last weeks box, and you can simply reuse it. This saves on industrial energy use to mfg the carton, the cold packs and the cotton insulation. Though it would mean you would want some kind of simple wash system for the plastic liners in the event that something previously leaked. I haven’t seen any leakage from any of your shipments yet, but I’m sure it’s happened. If the carrier sees signs of damage to last weeks delivery, they can simply leave it and the customer can recycle it as described.

ANNE says:

LOVE this idea! My friend and I were just discussing this very same idea this past werkend!

Jordan Schultz says:

Isn’t it great? What’s your favorite?

David says:

I plan on lining my garage attic with the insulation. I will get back to everyone if I notice a difference 😉

Jordan Schultz says:

Keep us posted! We’re excited to hear the results!

Pip says:

Is the Summer liner recycled cotton filler safe from irritants? It would be great if they could be donated to animal rescue for bedding.

Jamie says:

Can the cotton lineing be used as stuffing for sewing projects? Stuffed animals, blankets, pet beds?

Jordan Schultz says:

We don’t see why not! In fact, it sounds like a great idea. Let us know if you create anything with it.

Sophia says:

Hi there! I love that most of your shipping products are recyclable. I was wondering if you would be able to provide more information on the website in regards to the cotton/plant based insulation used. Is is or isn’t it compostable, and maybe provide links or helpful keywords like “organic composting” to help people find out where they can compost in their neighborhoods. Also have they considered a program where customers could send back “empty” boxes with freezer packs and insulation to be reused?

Monica says:

Just received my first Hello Fresh box, the food looks great but was shocked at how much waste there is in the packaging. Obviously the cardboard and plastic bags are easy enough but the large gel packs and cotton batting are appear to be trash. I would love to see a response to the previous poster, Sophia, who asked about returning these items for re-use. Not sure if I will continue with shipments if there is this much waste in the packaging.

Jordan Schultz says:

Hi Monica! At the moment, we don’t have any way for you to return your packaging to us. The ice pack is made with a gentle salt-based refrigerant. You can dump this in the trash once melted and recycle the plastic.

Lindy says:

I wonder if the cotton liner can be used as hot mitt insulation or would ?

Pam says:

I would like to leave the cotton insulation for the birds for nesting material but I’m not sure it’s all natural. If it’s 100% cotton, it’s fine, but if synthetics are included. it is harmful. It would be the same for using in animal shelters.

It would be great for using as cushion filling. Use the colorful reusable shopping tote bags available at many stores, stuff with the cotton filling and sew up the open edge for an quick, inexpensive, waterproof, easily cleaned cushion for watching events. Also great for kid camps or any time kids sit on the floor/ground.

I would appreciate knowing if it is 100% natural and untreated. Hello Fresh, is this information you can obtain?

Hi Pam! Our cotton liner is made up of recycled cotton, jute fiber (a plant fiber similar to linen) and a small amount of binder to hold it together that is plastic based. It should be perfectly suitable to use for bird nesting material!

Kris Pierskalla says:

Poly bags are not accepted in curbside recycling in most cities in the US. They are actually quite a problem for recycling facilities as they jam up their equipment. Poly bags should be taken to a plastic bag drop off location if one is available in your community.

jami says:

THANK YOU for posting this! I just spoke with our recycling facility, and they will not accept “metallized film” either. There’s some variation in what recycling facilities will accept, but plastic films are a no from most.

As this is my first summer with Hello Fresh, the cotton batting was new to me a week or two ago.

What’s the intended recycling route for this? Are they likely to be accepted by any curbside recycling? Why are they not mentioned at https://www.hellofresh.com/green/ ?

(I see a lot of great re-use ideas above, but even if one does all of them, one will still have a lifetime supply of the stuff after just a few months.)

Ahem, I apologize: they ARE mentioned there: “To recycle Summer Jute and Cotton, please cut top of #4 plastic film and trash cotton interior first.” (I’d searched the page for “fabric”, but not “cotton”.)

Audrey says:

I use my cotton for dog beds and love the idea for the birds as they usually tear apart the jute I use in hanging planters! The outside bag goes to the grocery store with the other thin bags that can’t go curbside. I use the food bags in the same sized bin under my sink for recycling, and sometimes if I have a lot of foodscraps, for a trip to the compost bin I use them as some paper is fine in your compost. I am very glad to see the effort HF does. I think we are on year 4?

Teresa says:

I’d like to se the plant based insulation in my STEM projects at school. I’m just double checking to make sure none of the insulation’s have peanut or nut materials in them.

Hi Teresa, our insulation does not contain any nut material.

Julie Cucinotta says:

I use the cotton liners to line my fridge drawers. The width is perfect and it not insulates and keeps them a bit padded but makes for easy clean up when needed.

Christine says:

Are the cotton liners compostable? A user (Sophia) asked above, but no one answered.

Hi Christine, thanks for asking. We use a few different liners depending on where you’re located and time of year. Please give us a call at (646) 846-3663 so we can look into this for you!

Linda says:

Please have someone from corporate contact me. I have an idea that will repurpose or recycle 99% of the packaging

Judy Roberts says:

I’m considering using the cotton fiber material as batting for lightweight quilts. If I sew the sheets together, I believe it will work nicely!

Shannon A says:

My kids love using every bag and bit of cardboard as a chance to draw, color, paint, write spelling words, make notes, work out math problems they’ve created for themselves or someone else, make up codes for solving, or just to use up until there isn’t anymore space or structure to the paper or cardboard any longer. We are artsy and promote creativity in our home. I’m sure the people at our recycling center have noticed that by now with all of the pieces of recycled art projects that were used until they just couldn’t be used anymore. Many of them have had Hello Fresh peeking through for the last few months and will continue for many more, thanks to your delicious recipes, help with getting the groceries I’m not able to shop for to my door, and your dedication to sustainability. ❤

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