11 Ideas to Make Mailer Boxes Recyclable

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you are looking for packaging solutions, click here.

Using mailer boxes is a common practice in business. It’s used by online businesses to deliver products and packages to their customers. The more products are bought, the more cardboard boxes are used. But after the boxes are delivered, what happens then?

Table of Contents

Last Updated on June 21, 2023 by Packoi Team

a mailer box

In the past, these mailers end up as packaging waste. Right now, that’s no longer acceptable. Businesses are encouraged to make their cardboard boxes more sustainable.


By designing them to be completely recyclable.

In this article, you’ll learn about what it takes to make your mailer boxes recyclable. You’ll also get tips that you can share with your customers so they can skip the recycling bin and reuse your mailers instead.

Why Are Mailer Boxes Easy to Recycle?

Making mailers recyclable is easy. Do you know why? Because the main material used to create them is cardboard.

This is a material that comes from a renewable source – trees. That means as long as new trees are planted, the old ones can be cut to create more cardboard boxes. Of course, all these follow strict protocols so that only old trees are cut and new trees are given enough time to grow in their stead.

But that’s not all.

cardboard mailer boxes

In general, cardboard boxes are recyclable by 5 to 7 times. Sometimes, they’re even made of compostable material. This is why they’re an environmentally friendly alternative to packaging and shipping materials. You don’t have to limit yourself to using a plastic bag. You can use corrugated boxes because recycling them is easier to do.

7 Tips Keep Corrugated Cardboard Boxes 100% Recyclable

Recycling cardboard boxes doesn’t just happen. You have to plan it while you’re designing the mailer box that you’ll use.

You see, there are corrugated boxes that aren’t accepted by recycling facilities and are sent to landfills immediately. This is because the box failed to follow the standards set by the recycling plant. It’s either the box used petroleum-based ink to print on its surface. Or it used plastic lamination.

These are things that can compromise the recyclability of packaging materials.

So if you want to ensure that recycling cardboard mailers won’t be compromised, follow these 7 tips.

Get the Cardboard Box From the Right Source

Before you can think about recycling your mailer boxes, make sure you’re getting them from the right source first.

FSC mailer boxes

There are many suppliers of corrugated boxes but not all get them from responsibly managed forests. To make sure that you’re mailer boxes come from the right places, look for FSC-certified companies. These are the ones that have been certified to practice sustainability and source their materials from the right sources.

Only if you’re certain that your materials come from sustainable companies, then you can proudly say that your mailers are recyclable.

Use Only Eco-Friendly Ink

One of the reasons why some mailers fail to go through the recycling process is because of contamination. Although a cardboard box is made of eco-friendly materials, if you use toxic ink or lamination, it compromises the recyclability of the box.

Since it’s very hard to remove the print, don’t use petroleum-based ink. Choose soy-based ink instead. This way, it won’t become a problem to recycle the material after the package has been sent to the recycling bin.

soy-based ink printing

You can also minimize the prints to ensure that they won’t cause issues with the mailer’s sustainability.

Skip the Lamination

As mentioned, lamination can also compromise the ability to recycle your mailer box. That’s because the film used to laminate a box is usually plastic. If it’s not necessary, just skip the lamination.

However, if your mailer box requires extra protection, then it’s okay to use lamination as long as you choose an eco-friendly alternative. There are bio-based materials that can be used to laminate your box. Some are made of cellulose – which is a biodegradable material.

Stick to Only What’s Necessary

The main goal of recycling is to create a more positive impact on the environment. Another way to achieve that is by reducing what you’ll use to create your mailer box.

That means creating the right size for the cardboard box. Or you can order only what is needed for your business. You have to set up a system so that the boxes that you have stored won’t get damaged and lead to more waste.

Keep the Design Simple

Being creative with your mailer box allows you to build a positive impression with your customers. However, you need to be careful with the design.

It’s better to keep the design of your cardboard box simple.

Why? The less that you use, the less likely that you’ll compromise its recyclability. Not only that, you get to reduce waste by keeping the tags, ribbons, and other decorative elements low.

sample mailer boxes

Make It Durable to Encourage the Reuse

This is easy if your mailers are made of corrugated cardboard material. After all, corrugated boxes are known for being incredibly durable.

Why is this important?

This means your mailers can easily be reused. For instance, if there’s a need to return the package, the customer can use the same packaging that it was sent in.

Or the customer can transform it and use the mailer for something else.

Provide Tips That Customers Can Follow

Putting used cardboard packaging in the recycling bin is one way to encourage sustainability. But you might be surprised that a lot of people won’t know how to do that.

This is why you need to provide a QR code or a link that’ll take customers to a page on your site. There, you can give them instructions on how to properly dispose of the packaging in the bin. If you put tags or tape, they need to remove that properly so the box won’t get rejected in the recycling facility.

4 Ideas to Help Customers Recycle Mailer Boxes

Recycling old cardboard boxes doesn’t always mean sending them to a facility to be processed into something else. You can encourage your customers to reuse them first.

The QR code or link that was initially discussed can provide a different set of instructions for the customer. Give them tips that’ll help them creatively transform your mailers.

Teach customers how easy recycling cardboard can be. 

Here are some tips that you can give your customers.

Reuse It as a Gift Box

make a gift box

There are several ways to reuse cardboard boxes. One way is to use it as a gift box.

Once emptied, the customer can put their gift inside, tie a ribbon around it and add a card or tag. This will make it look presentable enough to be given away as a gift.

This will help the customer save money while being sustainable.

Create Cards or Tags

Speaking of a gift, the customer can also turn them into gift cards or tags. If the material is thin like cereal boxes, this could work.

Cut and fold the cardboard to any shape then give the customers creative ways to decorate it. Give them tips to create Christmas cards, gift tags, etc.

Show them options that they can use for all types of seasons or occasions.

Convert as Storage

The cardboard used to create the mailer is also something that can be transformed into a storage container. The customer can use it to store items at home or their office supplies in the workplace.

Provide instructions to decorate the boxes so it looks presentable. Maybe the customer can wrap it with paper or fabric. If your mailer boxes are plain and simple, they can put stickers or have kids draw on them.


These are ideas that can urge the customers to be creative in using the packaging.

Transform Into Decorations

Finally, you can give customers creative ways to turn the cardboard into decorations that can be used at home or the workplace.

Give instructions to create wall art. Maybe you can teach them how to turn the material into a picture frame. Cardboard can also become functional if it can be turned into a coaster or placemat.

Make it fun so customers can turn it into an arts and crafts session with their children.

Are You Interested In Recyclable Mailer Boxes? Packoi Printing Can Supply Them for You.

Making recyclable mailer boxes isn’t as complicated as you think. The most common material used to create it is recyclable already. As long as you’re careful with how you design it and the elements that you add to it, you won’t have a problem.

With the right material, you can also create a box that can be reused several times before it’s sent to landfills.

This will help you save money and leave a positive impact on the environment.

If you want to know more about creating recyclable mailer boxes, Packoi Printing is here to assist.

We have several options that you can choose from. We are also an FSC-certified company. You can trust that our materials come from responsibly managed forests.

Give us a call to know more. We will give you a fair quote as soon as possible.

custom mailer boxes

Request Free Quote Now!

Share The Post Now:


Hey there, I’m Shelly!

I really enjoy the packaging and printing industry because my work makes my clients’ products more beautiful and enjoyable. If you have any questions about packaging and printing, feel free to contact me!

You may also find these topics interesting

Send Your Inquiry Now

Get Free Sample Now!

Free standard sample can be provided for your evaluation according to your requirements.