Eco Friendly Packing

This is not a jewelry question. I seem to be shipping more jewelry than I have in the past. I have sized my presentation boxes and shipping boxes such that they are fairly close in size (4X4X2). I still have to add a small amount of packing material. I typically have used whatever I can find: newspaper, used packing from packages that I have received and so on. I would like to buy an eco friendly packing material that will fit into fairly tight spaces. If anyone can recommend a product, I would appreciate it. thanks…Rob

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Hi Rob and All,
Onliest thing I can think of is to use compostable poly bags. AFAIK they are made from petroleum products using a lot of energy, but at least they can go on the garden or anywhere without being a problem…the bags are made of LDPE (low density polyethylene), which is just (C2H4)n…just carbon and hydrogen. You can get them in a ziplock for about 30 cents or in a plain plastic bag for maybe four cents each. My thought would be to fill them with shredded paper from a diamond-shredder…small paper bits like this can also be easily composted if you have a lot left over. A lot of trouble to go to, but to some eco-pro customers, this would be a selling point. Could also use sawdust in the bags, just fill and compress before sealing. Other options would be paper products on their own, but that gets messy if the paper is shredded or not so elegant if it is wadded up like we used to do…-royjohn

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Some ideas here…



you coyld use a single cut paper shredder…and shred excess kraft paper type grocery bags…it is nice and firm…



The most eco-friendly is to re-use something otherwise headed to the landfill, but if you need to buy some materials, I have been happy with everything from EcoEnclose. They seem to have a lot of cushioning options, but I personally just use a padded mailer.

Whenever I accumulate a kitchen trashbag’s worth of bubble wrap from deliveries, I post it in my local freecycle group and either someone moving or a small business usually picks it up within a day or two. You could also look for options like that in your area.


I’m with Julie on this. Paper shredders are fairly cheap and with a dedicated purpose they should last for decades. You are re-using and recycling a waste product to a good purpose.

I have used hard wood shreds from a wood plainer in the past. They do the job and make a really fine mess when the package is opened. (Rebekkah never forgave me.) And I mailed Dad some stuff to Arizona which I packed in puffed rice. ( Not as absurd as it sounds)

Don Meixner

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I too used mailers for a long time until I had a piece returned that had been crushed in the mail. I now use very sturdy cardboard boxes that come to me flat. They store easily when flat and can be assembled in 10 seconds. My presentation boxes are 3.25X2.25X1 and leave a bit of a gap when placed in the assembled cardboard box that comes closest to these dimensions. It is this space that I would like to fill so that the presentation box doesn’t move around. When shipping earrings, I wrap each earring separately with tarnish proof paper so that they don’t rub against each other in transit. No Don, I am not going to use wood chips or puffed rice but shredded paper has some potential. I have found that I can cut tissue paper down to size so that I can fill the gaps with it. I am just looking for other eco friendly ways to do this job that also don’t detract from the presentation. In the end, it is all paper that can be recycled and that is my goal. Thanks for all the suggestions…Rob

Back in the sone age before plastic and styrofoam we used popcorn.

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You folks may have had better luck with paper shredders than I have for recyclable packing material? My paper shredder creates paper confetti with a lot of dust. It’s so messy! Although I never tried finding a low dust paper like paper bags just for shredding. I have used shredded old bills and misc paper. Like you, I was trying to come up with recyclable packing material.

Eventually, I switched to crumpled up newspaper. I decided that was kind of cool that folks in other parts of the US or wherever could read my local news.

Some things that I’ve noticed that have shifted in the jewelry tool industry packing over the years
Plain brown bulk paper.
Recyclable plastic bags filled with air.
Compostable packing peanuts.

I don’t know Rob, to me the compostable/bio-degradable packing peanuts sound like the best solution to your needs. In a small box, you can put them in one at a time to create your padding. You can even squish them to make them flatter to fill a space.

There’s so many different kinds. They don’t cost very much and don’t give off a lot of dust. Maybe worth a try?

This is actually a great question! Thanks for bringing it up!! There’s lots of potential solutions.



Sounds like you need one of these!

Good luck finding one though :laughing:


Hi Jeff, you might have a cross cur or micro cut shredder that cuts really small…for security purposes i believe…

strip cut shredders will cut strips…less bitsy/ dusty…


I probably do have a cross cut shredder. The only reason that I have a shredder is to shred old bills and sensitive documents. It’s amazing how much paper junk that we all get. Then what do we do with it?

Eco enclose has some options that you can purchase. Protective Packaging Solutions | Sustainable Void Fill

They also have sample packs available so you can get a better idea of which product would work best for you:


Thanks! looks like a great place to do business. I am looking into their corrugated boxes and packing…Rob

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great ideas all! love it…

Rob et al. - I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the biodegradable (and edible) corn starch packing peanuts. They’ve been in a couple of boxes I’ve received recently. They dissolve in water, can be composted, can be added to your garden, and eaten (Kinda bland, though.) If dissolved in water the resulting mixture can be sprayed on tour garden to defeat powdery mildew, etc. Google them.

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I have gotten them in some packages recently. Peanuts are too big for the space that I am trying to fill. Thanks…Rob