Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day 147 - Ty One On

Recycling Tyvek Envelopes

You all know I work from home because I often shamelessly plug my sister's renaissance garb store - The Very Merry Seamstress (thank goodness I didn't do that today, right?). Anyhow, when our lovely customers order a design that requires a brocade, satin or other fancy-shmancy fabric, I generally order just a yard or two online. There are a number of different vendors I use and several of them ship their fabrics in those Tyvek US Post envelopes.

They're one of many free supplies offered at the post office and they are lighter than a box, which reduces the postage requried to ship them. They take up less room to store and can be easily squished to fit in a standard mailbox. This is why so many vendors prefer to use the plastic packages, as opposed to boxes. Personally, I use the boxes because they are much more easily recycled than the Tyvek envelopes. However, I do occasionally recieve materials shipped in them.

These envelopes (and any other Tyvek items) are made of #2 plastic and *may* be accepted in your regular recycling bins. However, check with your local municipal waste management facility before dumping them in there because you never know what their sorting machinery can handle. My county does not accept them in the blue bins, but fortunately for all of us, DuPont has its own Tyvek recycling program. I learned about it from Beth at Fake Plastic Fish, who is a veritable encyclopedia of plastic knowledge!

According to DuPont's website, here's how I can recycle them (in quantities less than 25):

Turn any Tyvek® envelope inside out, so the unprinted white surface shows on the outside. Stuff the inside-out Tyvek® envelope with other used Tyvek® envelopes for recycling.
Address and mail the envelope to:

Tyvek® Recycle
Attn. Shirley Cimburke
2400 Elliham Avenue #A
Richmond, VA 23237

Note the address there. Yeah, I could actually drop these off the next time I'm over on that side of town. How cool is that?

Yes, I know, it would be much cooler if I insisted that all my vendors package their items in recyclable cardboard, rather than down-cyclable plastic, but honestly, I forget to do it most of the time. Senility is setting in fast, my friends.


During my busy season (March - October), I recieve approximately one envelope per week. During my off season, I'd say it's one envelope per month. That gives me a total of 38 envelopes per year. Envelopes that previously would have been trash, will now at least become a fleece sweater or fake wood decking or something. Perfection? No. Improvement? Yes.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

Saving the envelopes is no problem. They are small and are easily stored - even in my tiny sewing room. Even sending them back won't be difficult. As I said, I can either drop them off the next time I find myself in the area, or just pop them in the mail. Of course, if DuPont REALLY wanted to be a Good Company, they'd accept them postage due. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll mention that when I drop them off!


Green Bean said...

Cool. Thanks for the tip. I just got one of these in the mail yesterday and wondered what to do with it. Now I know. :)

Shannon said...

Hey, here's another idea - bring them up north when you come to visit and we'll recycle them here. Our county takes both #1 and #2 plastic...