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Shopper seeks advice for dealing with unwieldy supply of packaging from online orders: 'Pretty sure it's compostable'

"Sometimes cardboard is more useful than the items that came in it."

"Sometimes cardboard is more useful than the items that came in it."

Photo Credit: iStock

With online purchases booming, packaging has come under scrutiny. 

One Redditor went to r/AmazonVineUK to ask the subreddit for ideas on what to do with the excess brown paper in their packages.

The Redditor shared some ideas of their own, hoping to spark more suggestions.

"I flatten the paper, fold it into squares, slice it up … punch a hole in the corner and hang it up in the utility room. It is actually very good for mopping spills, wiping out dirty pans, getting oil off your hands, cleaning paint brushes, checking your dipstick, and general … scribblings," the OP wrote.

The post is a great example of doing more with less. It minimizes waste, saves money, and keeps more items out of methane-producing landfills that are overheating the planet. 

As convenient as online shopping is, there is an environmental cost that comes with it. The paper waste from packaging and air pollution created by the transfer of goods is a big concern — especially with the rate of online purchases rising.

According to Capital One Shopping, 356 billion packages were shipped worldwide in 2023, with 498 billion estimated to ship in 2028.

Canopy reported three billion trees are lost to paper packaging every year, which breaks down to 250 million trees cut down each month.

Repurposing and recycling items will generate less waste. Proper recycling is important. A lot of times, if the tape and labels aren't peeled off the boxes, they won't be recycled. If something can't be sent straight to recycling, though, there are organizations — like GotSneakers — that can help you reduce waste, clean up your space, and maybe even get some money in return. 

The post collected all sorts of ideas from like-minded people.

"Pretty sure it's compostable," a commenter said.

One Redditor shared a brilliant idea, saying, "I use a three hole pamphlet stitch and make notebooks out of it with the boxes as notebook covers."

"Sometimes cardboard is more useful than the items that came in it," another wrote ironically, sharing how they use the material for eco-friendly weed control

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