Meal Delivery Insulation & Packaging

Please know that not all meal delivery insulation may go in the recycling carts. If the material is not traditional, err on the side of caution by keeping it out. Check out the new app Austin Recycles that combines the websites What Do I Do With? and My Collection Schedule. If you’re in Austin, and still unsure, you can call 3-1-1 or contact me for assistance. If you’re outside of Austin, try Earth 911 for general guidance after checking the company’s website for more information.

Some of the more common companies brought up in my neighborhood (in the order they were mentioned) include:

  • Hello Fresh has almost no recycling information and no pictures. I don’t know what a “summer liner” looks like let alone what it is made of, same goes for the “winter liner.” A year or so ago I rescued one of Hello Fresh’s liners made of cotton/plant material inside a clear bag (the featured image of this post) from a neighbors recycling cart (not recyclable). The filling pictured above will need to go in the trash and the bag can be recycled at a store drop-off station. Earlier this month (April 2020), my in-laws shared images of their delivery and it included a product called “Renewliner” allegedly recyclable in curbside carts. I am waiting for Austin Resource Recovery to respond if our contractors will accept this material. I’ll post an update when I receive a response.
  • Freshly has a video for their items. It’s short so it’s watchable, though I prefer pictures and writing for faster processing. Freshly’s “denim” cushioning inside the plastic casing should go in the trash per the company’s instructions and as confirmed by the City of Austin. No fabric may go in the City of Austin’s curbside composting program nor in the Texas Farmers’ Markets compost system.
  • Blue Apron has a comprehensive page for their packaging. The pictures, materials, and explanations are well done, they even include the How2Recycle labels!
  • Purple Carrot also has a breakdown and includes pictures.
  • Prep to Your Door, a local Austin company, uses mason jars for it’s meals. They’ve informed me they are a ” are a closed-loop delivery system, meaning we pick up the empty jars, delivery bags, and ice packs at the time of the next delivery or post cancellation. We then sanitize everything end re-use.” They confirmed to me their closed loop system is still happening during COVID, they added even more safety measures and precautions.

Any plastic wrap, plastic bags, plastic casing/shrink wrap/covering may go in a store bag recycling station at Target, Central Market, Home Depot, etc. or the City’s Recycle & Reuse Drop-off Center (once open again). The City of Austin doesn’t worry about the numbers on the plastic bags and film, just that it’s bags or film, and clean and dry.

The City of Austin did not recommend pouring any gels from ice packs into the sink or toilet. Please trash the gel filling, the bags can be recycled at a bag station. If your ice pack says it’s a water-based solution that’s on you to decide how to proceed, whether you’re comfortable pouring it down the sink or erring on the side of caution and putting it in the trash.

Please let me know who else you’d like to see listed here. If you have pictures to share with credit of who took the picture and the company, please share and I’ll update the post!

Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *