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Topic: Re-using bubble wrappers

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Subject: Re-using bubble wrappers
Date Posted: 11/15/2009 6:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've got quite a large collection of used bubble wrappers now.  I've tried different ways of using them again, but I'm not happy with my efforts.  Once the sticky part of the wrapper has been used - then what is left is all lined with bubble wrap.  I can't wrap that snugly around the books.  I don't want to throw these away because they are still usable - if I can figure out a good way to do so.  Any suggestions??

Ruth

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2008
Posts: 3,919
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 I reuse bubble mailers when I can. If I can open it up enough carefully then I can just use tape instead of the sticky stuff. But if the envelope got damaged while I opened it, I cut the mailer a little with scissors and make a new flap to fold down. Again I use tape to seal it.  Sometimes it just takes a bit of experimenting.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 7:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I reuse them to wrap books. I don't care if they look neat and pretty when they go out.  Sometimes I use scissors to trim them smaller. Usually I just try to use them for a book that's an appropriate size for the envelope.  Sometimes I fold it over and tape it if the books has too much wiggle room. 

Wrapping books too snuggly can damage the spines and the edges of a paperback.



Last Edited on: 11/15/09 7:53 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/15/2009 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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I reuse them every chance I get. If they are too ragged to use in their original state, I cut up one side of the envelope, and cut off the flap. I stick the book into the existing corner, and wrap the top and other side to fit the book, trimming off the excess as needed, then tape up the whole side and top. The larger, #2, 9 1/2 by 12 inch ones are the perfect size to hold a mass market paperback. I stick the book in sideways, width-wise along the bottom and cut off the excess, cutting right through the bubbles and paper across the top. I flap both ends over, over lapping them and tape all the way across. I can get two envelopes from one that way.

Sometimes I cut the envelope open on all but one side, making a sheet out of it and use that to wrap like I would a present. If one sheet wont fit the book, then I cut another open. One piece on the front, the other piece on the back, some left over cardboard inside helps to stiffen the package if it is a larger paperback book. I then tape them both together along all edges and the book is protected on all corners, since the bubbles overlap a bit all around. It takes more tape this way, but I hate to waste any potential book wrapping material.

Recycling mailing materials is good for the environment and good for my pocket book. I have purchased only 3 bubble mailers since being a member here. I only bought them because they were on clearance for a few pennies. Most every book I mail goes out with some sort of recycled wrapping on it.  Some of them dont look too pretty, but I compensate for that with a cute sticker or two on the front. I got a bunch of stickers on clearance, too! 

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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I'm also a reuser.  Like Mary said, I don't care if they're pretty, as long as they protect the books.  I'm shipping manager at work and I also bring home bubble wrappers and small boxes that would normally be tossed in the trash. 

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,131
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Ruth, I've done the same thing--piled up the used bubble envelopes saying I'll use them--but when it's time to wrap a book, it seems easier to use brown paper.  Unless you have a book that fits the envelope exactly, it IS hard to close it neatly--the best way is to cut the whole envelope open and use it like paper--but that's more work.  I think I'll make a bigger effort to use them up, I love to recycle and just feel bad throwing them away unless they're very worn already.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,272
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I reuse them by just stapling the end shut and then either taping over the cut & stapled end, or folding over the cut & stapled end and securing with tape. I have usually opened them when I received them by just cutting straight across the folded flap. Like others have said, they don't have to be pretty!

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,520
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I don't reuse them, they can only stand so many trips thru the mail.  Usually I get them all beaten up and taped to heck and I'm surprised there's even any bubble left in them to protect a book.  I don't care if the package looks pretty but I do care of the wrapping materials used have been used too many times to adequately protect the book.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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I reuse them. If I can't get a snug fit I cut it open so its a flat sheet and wrap just like I would with paper.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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I reuse them all the time and love getting ones that have been reused.  Sometimes I carefully peel off the address label and see how many times it's been used.  One had five labels on it!  lol

I open by cutting off the top.  Then I normally fold it over a bit and tape, please run the tape all the way around both directions.  I don't like my books to move around in the envelope.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 11:12 AM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 4,975
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I recyle most of the bubble mailers I receive books in. I use the methods described by others and it works well. I also recyle boxes and they have come in real handy with multiple book orders. I don't know what I would have done without them.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 11:16 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Cozy I do the same thing! 

I will retire one if it's just been too abused.  Also the larger ones are great for wrapping audiobooks.  Those I cut open and wrap the audio book like a present. 

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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I personally don't like packages with staples in them.  I've stuck my finger too many times.  If I get one like that I usually try to open the other end for safety's sake.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 585
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I reuse bubble mailers all the time.  I have a stack of them right now.  I just find the one that fits my book the best and tape it up so it's snug in the package.  I don't care what it looks like as long as it gets there safely.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 9,860
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I reuse them. If they are too big I cut off the extra and just seal them with tape since I have cut off the flap.

I also cut them open and use them like they were a flat piece of paper.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 12:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,717
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I reuse every mailer I get that is still in good enough condition to be reused. My only word of advice (from experience) is that if you get a mailer sent to you first class, and you mail it back out media rate, make sure you black out ANYTHING on the mailer that says first class, or the post office may decide to deliver it postage due at the higher rate.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I reuse all the time...that is what packing tape is for!  who cares if it looks pretty or not?  as long as it is closed and taped well, it will get there!

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,131
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I think it's the big lump that you get when you try to fold over the edges with the bubble wrap that bothers me--for some reason I feel like it can't be taped securely enough.  That's why I prefer to open and use if possible.  I've tried stapling in the past but my heavy duty stapler isn't working now and a little stapler doesn't do the job.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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You do get that big lump when you fold over the edge.  I just run the tape all around the package including that lump and it holds it down well.   My reused envelopes sometimes look strange but they get there.   I've been getting a lot of bubble envelopes and plastic envelopes lately that are torn by machines because they are loose in the envelope.  That allows those horrible PO machines to grab them and tear them.

Date Posted: 11/15/2009 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Another recycling fan...reuse everything that looks sturdy enough to safely endure another trip through Media Maul (NOT regular manilla envelopes).  And I've been known to peek under the labels also, gives me warm fuzzies to get another trip out of a bubble envelope that's already been used several times!

Bulky fold over bugs me too!  To minimize it, I cut about an inch off of the upper/flap end of the side seams (just remove the seam portion so I have two 'flaps').  Then  cut off the lower flap from one side seam to the other, which should leave you a new upper flap...sometimes it's bubble material, but less bulky than two layers of bubble material.  Did that make any sense??

When there's no sticky on the flap, I often use two 6 to 8 inch lengths of  packing tape down the flap (and along the back of the resized envelope) before securing across the width of the new flap with more packing tape. . . ie tape both directions :-)



Last Edited on: 11/15/09 3:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/15/2009 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,131
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Bulky fold over--  LOL -- sounds like a phrase from an exercise machine ad!  "Do you have bulky fold over??"

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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We will not be discussing the "bulky fold over". . . lol!

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2009
Posts: 692
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Bulky fold over - you can pop some bubbles so it will lie flat. And popping bubbles is always fun! ;)



Last Edited on: 11/16/09 9:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/16/2009 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2009
Posts: 1,358
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Date Posted: 11/17/2009 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I've enjoyed reading the posts you all made!  ;D  It certainly is that big lump of bubble wrap that I not only dislike but fear will lead to "Media Mauling."

And thanks for the "light bulb moment"  (why didn't I think of that???) about popping the bubbles.   For some reason it never occurred to me.  (So embarrassing!) 

Ruth

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