This subject is of particular interest to me, as I have recently started a retail arbitrage business where I buy products at a low price and sell them at a higher price on websites like eBay and Amazon.

Doing this business while staying environmentally friendly has been tough, I’m not going to lie. 

In this article, I am going to be covering environmentally friendly envelopes, boxes, packing materials, and labels. Basically, everything needed for a retail arbitrage business. 

Yes, this article may be a little self-serving, but I’m sure I am not the only work-from-home mom who will benefit from the information obtained.

Without further ado…

Are poly mailers biodegradable?

Traditional poly mailers are made from polyethylene material (plastic), so they are not biodegradable.

But fear not, there are many biodegradable poly mailers available to choose from. 

Eco friendly poly bags

You no longer have to choose unrecyclable, unbiodegradable poly mailers. There are many ecofriendly packaging options to choose from. YAY!

Biodegradable Poly bags

lumi compostable poly mailers

Lumi Compostable mailers

  • Lightweight
  • Made from renewable bioplastic (PLA)
  • Compostable at home or industrial compost facility
  • Uses vegetable or soy oil as the base for inks
  • Uses renewable resources
  • Can be recycled if dropped off at a designated facility

ecoenclose compostable paper mailers


  • Has many different compostable envelopes to choose from
  • Available in different sizes
  • Paper mailers are made with 100% recycled, 90% post-consumer waste
  • Fully recyclable and naturally biodegradable
  • Compostable in back yard or industrial facility

noissue compostable mailer

Noissue Mailers

  • Available in different sizes
  • Made from plant based materials (PLA/PBAT)
  • Breaks down in 90 days in commercial compost and 180 days at home compost pile

compostable mailer

Compostable Poly Mailer

  • 100% compostable
  • Made with cornstarch and PBAT
  • Can be composted at home or industrial facility
  • Donates 5% of profits to the Rainforest Trust for the Protection of Our Rainforests

Recyclable Poly Mailers

ecoenclose recyclable poly mailer


  • Made with 100% recycled content
  • Reusable
  • Recyclable
  • Different sizes available

 Recycled shipping boxes

Fortunately, there are quite a few options for recycled shipping boxes. Here are a few you might want to consider:

ecoenclose corrugated box


  • 100% recycled
  • Made from 95% post-consumer content
  • Made in USA
  • Black algae ink available for printing
  • Fully customizable

pratt plus corrugated box

Pratt Plus

  • Made from 100% recycled materials
  • Made in USA
  • Available in many different sizes 

Ibox Packaging Ltd.

  • 100% recycled content
  • Utilizes vegetable based inks
  • Many different sizes
  • Fully customizable

 Ecofriendly Packing Material

It’s best just to keep it simple when it comes to packing material to keep your items safe. Here are some ideas for the next time you ship an item that needs some padding.

For proper disposal of your packaging if you are sending out products to customers, please send an instruction card or paper telling them where to properly dispose of the packaging material. This will help ensure that packaging gets recycled or composted properly (at least as much as you can control it.)

I hope this list is a useful resource for all your shipping and mailing needs! 

Let me know in the comments below if you would like more information on a particular area (envelopes, boxes, packing material, etc.)

 Cheers, and have an awesome day!



  1. mayil

    Thank you Kathy. Very informative since I want to start to ship my textile products (#mayilscarves) in eco-friendly packaging.

    • Kathy

      You’re very welcome! Good luck with your business!

  2. Diana Smith


    That’s an amazing . Thanks for sharing with us .


  3. Camali Clinic

    environmentally friendly boxes and various other things really good for us because as a human we can make our life healthy, but unfortunately, no one focus on it. But you are, i really appreciate your work

    • Kathy

      Thank you so much for your comment! Sometimes it feels like we are facing a never-ending uphill battle and a positive comment like this gives us the energy, drive, and determination to keep going. Thanks for making my day!

  4. David Ruekberg

    Your site suggests (by omission of details) that biodegradable is preferable. According to information on the EcoEnclose website (which you display some products from), it depends on your priorities. I favor low carbon footprint over biodegradability, because of the urgency to reduce carbon emissions or face certain catastrophe. Anyway, 100% recycled poly mailers have very low carbon footprint, and can then be recycled into building materials. They are also lighter than other products, reducing shipping weight and fuel use. “Biodegradable” plastic materials actually add to methane production in landfills, and particles often end up in oceans; and recent studies have suggested they are not even very degradable.

    • Kathy

      Thank you for your insight!

    • Anni Maliki

      Which is preferable from a carbon footprint perspective between 100% recycled poly mailers and 100% recycled padded paper mailers?


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