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Economical and eco friendly packaging

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Dawni

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I've only now started to think about whether there are any cheap yet eco friendly (biodegradable preferably, we don't have facilities for recycling many things yet in the country) options for packaging soap, other than what I use currently.

I recycle the brown paper bags from the supermarket for friends and friends of friends. My extended family receives their soap wrapped in my teenager's old school papers, clean side touching the soap (they'll unwrap and use once they get home anyway lol so I'm not too worried about the ink from the other side).

I currently don't use any tape or glue, but I'm searching for biodegradable alternatives to both.

Anyone has suggestions for better packaging?

By better I mean it would look nice yet still kinda rustic.. Won't be as time consuming as cutting paper to size and wrapping the soap.. Would not up my costs too much.. Would not need additional bags of any kind if they're getting more than one piece.. Yet still be something I won't worry about people just throwing away.

Or am I asking for too much? Haha

Since we're here.. Any ideas for lotion bars? Tins n jars are there but they're not that cheap....
 

Mobjack Bay

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Can you get “baker’s twine” or similar light cotton string? (I like the baker’s twine because of the colors I can get). I use it two ways. First, for a soap wrapped in paper, I wrap the twine around twice in a way that holds the folded ends in place and then I just tie a bow. I don’t have to use any tape. I’ve also put unwrapped soap in a brown paper bag, folded the top over, used a paper punch to make two holes and then threaded doubled twine through and tied a bow. Does that make sense at all? I will take pics the next time I do it. I think black and white twine looks nice with the brown paper. Jute or similar twine would look nice, too.
 

Dawni

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Can you get “baker’s twine” or similar light cotton string? (I like the baker’s twine because of the colors I can get). I use it two ways. First, for a soap wrapped in paper, I wrap the twine around twice in a way that holds the folded ends in place and then I just tie a bow. I don’t have to use any tape. I’ve also put unwrapped soap in a brown paper bag, folded the top over, used a paper punch to make two holes and then threaded doubled twine through and tied a bow. Does that make sense at all? I will take pics the next time I do it. I think black and white twine looks nice with the brown paper. Jute or similar twine would look nice, too.
Oooh yknow I did this last Christmas for family. They got the recycled brown paper tags, tied with jute twine. Was looking at local options today, and I found abaca fiber twine for only a few pesos more per yard. Also comes in many colors.. There's also paper twine and baker's twine. Thanks for the punched paper bag idea :)
Be careful of tin in your area with all that humidity. Think rust :(

I agree with MB idea :)
Yeah humidity.. And heat. I recently sent a lotion bar with a friend, wrapped in layers of the brown paper and the pocket of her handbag where she kept it got oily. I either need to reformulate, which sucks coz I like what I have now... Just no good for traveling unless it's inside something non porous.
 

earlene

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For fancy but natural looking wrapping, I have used both satin and lace ribbons tied around the soap. These can be re-used by the recipient if they have a use for ribbons (hair ties, wrapping other presents, etc.). I have recieved soap wrapped in fabric and I really like how that looks. Quilters and other sewing crafters would certainly find a use for the fabric, but not everyone would.

I have a huge collection of novelty papers I have accumulated over the years, and love finding a match of paper to soap design.

For storing soap while traveling, I often use newsprint that has no ink (often used as a filler in packages delivered - I hate to waste good usable paper.)

Jute and raffia are also nice for tying around soap as a natural touch. I also use little boxes if I find some that will fit for a particular soap or set of soaps when gifting them. I'm a sucker for little decorative boxes that can be re-used for other things once the soap is removed. Girls can keep jewelry in them, or paperclips on a desk or any number of re-purposed uses are possible.

I save small gift bags to put a few bars of soap in when giving them to someone. I've pretty much run out of those, but when I get more I will use them again because it's really a nice touch.
 

penelopejane

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I use paper wrapping and washi tape which is paper sticky tape.
You can buy cellophane that is made from wood fibre (rather than petroleum) which I use but it is not a cheap alternative but it is eco friendly. That would stop the soaps from leaking but it still breathes. In your humidity I wouldn't wrap soaps too early. Make sure they are 100% before you package them.
 

Dawni

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I use paper wrapping and washi tape which is paper sticky tape.
You can buy cellophane that is made from wood fibre (rather than petroleum) which I use but it is not a cheap alternative but it is eco friendly. That would stop the soaps from leaking but it still breathes. In your humidity I wouldn't wrap soaps too early. Make sure they are 100% before you package them.
Washi tape!! Oh my.. I used to have a stash from when I was younger. Me n my eldest even painstakingly covered my laptop keys with them. I should use em instead of letting em waste in storage. If I can still find em.

Thanks for the reminder!

I'll have to look into that kind of cellophane.. Not sure if it's available here though, there aren't that many options.
 

penelopejane

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Washi tape!! Oh my.. I used to have a stash from when I was younger. Me n my eldest even painstakingly covered my laptop keys with them. I should use em instead of letting em waste in storage. If I can still find em.

Thanks for the reminder!

I'll have to look into that kind of cellophane.. Not sure if it's available here though, there aren't that many options.
It probably won't help you but I have bought it from here:
https://www.buyecogreen.com.au/bags-cellophane
 

Kathymzr

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Since I only give soap to friends and family, I want to present my soap as “Luxurious”. For now, I give my soap in little soap saver bags with a handwritten card listing the indredients. I don’t have labels and such yet.
 

dixiedragon

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Re: lotion bars - are their any containers in your area that get frequently thrown away? Baby food jars used to be really easy to get, but now most people have switched to pouches. But maybe there's something like that in your area? If not, then try to thing of something that is dishwasher safe and can be re-used. For use at home (vs in a purse) a coffee mug might do the trick. I can typically get those for 25 cents or less at thrift stores.

What types of paper gets discarded? When I was little, my mom would save the funny pages out of all of the Sunday papers and use that for wrapping paper. You could wrap in catalogs, magazine pages, etc. I like to get books from the discard bin at 2nd and Charles (chain of used book stores).
 

melinda48

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I've only now started to think about whether there are any cheap yet eco friendly (biodegradable preferably, we don't have facilities for recycling many things yet in the country) options for packaging soap, other than what I use currently.

I recycle the brown paper bags from the supermarket for friends and friends of friends. My extended family receives their soap wrapped in my teenager's old school papers, clean side touching the soap (they'll unwrap and use once they get home anyway lol so I'm not too worried about the ink from the other side).

I currently don't use any tape or glue, but I'm searching for biodegradable alternatives to both.

Anyone has suggestions for better packaging?

By better I mean it would look nice yet still kinda rustic.. Won't be as time consuming as cutting paper to size and wrapping the soap.. Would not up my costs too much.. Would not need additional bags of any kind if they're getting more than one piece.. Yet still be something I won't worry about people just throwing away.

Or am I asking for too much? Haha

Since we're here.. Any ideas for lotion bars? Tins n jars are there but they're not that cheap....
Wow!
where do you live where you can still get paper grocery bags? I envy you that option!
 

DeeAnna

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Another possibility besides wrapping soap in paper is to wrap in pieces of fabric cut from clothing that can no longer be worn. I've also seen soap packaged inside kids' socks. Well washed, of course!
 

Tourmaline

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I've seen glassine bags at WSP, they are fully biodegradable and should be okay for lotion bars. DeeAnna has a good idea for soaps, if you don't have pretty rags or scrap fabric handy you could also browse the remnant bins at your local fabric store. Tie up your soaps like little bento boxes. Or you could sew pouches if you're handy with a sewing machine.

If you make any round soaps, I found a cool tutorial on how to wrap them in coffee filters! https://www.lovinsoap.com/2016/02/how-to-package-round-soap-using-coffee-filters/

(I originally came to this website just looking for tips on EO blends, but now you all got me looking at how to make and package melt and pour soap, bath bombs, sugar scrubs... my poor, poor wallet!)
 

Lindywine

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I've only now started to think about whether there are any cheap yet eco friendly (biodegradable preferably, we don't have facilities for recycling many things yet in the country) options for packaging soap, other than what I use currently.

I recycle the brown paper bags from the supermarket for friends and friends of friends. My extended family receives their soap wrapped in my teenager's old school papers, clean side touching the soap (they'll unwrap and use once they get home anyway lol so I'm not too worried about the ink from the other side).

I currently don't use any tape or glue, but I'm searching for biodegradable alternatives to both.

Anyone has suggestions for better packaging?

By better I mean it would look nice yet still kinda rustic.. Won't be as time consuming as cutting paper to size and wrapping the soap.. Would not up my costs too much.. Would not need additional bags of any kind if they're getting more than one piece.. Yet still be something I won't worry about people just throwing away.

Or am I asking for too much? Haha

Since we're here.. Any ideas for lotion bars? Tins n jars are there but they're not that cheap....

How about glassine bags with twine or yarn?
 

TheGecko

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Packaging...it’s becoming a ‘four-letter’ word with me.

I started out with these clear, cellophane ‘gift bags’ that I got from the Dollar Tree. They are okay for my 40z bars, but not 5oz and the supply is not dependable. Then I bought a brown kraft label that wrapped around your soap; would fit both size bars. Ten labels to a sheet, and came with a template...only I can’t open the **** file! I can open the Adobe template, except I only have Reader, not the regular software.

A gal I follow in Taiwan uses an opp film...perfect. Except I can’t get a US supplier to call me back and even asking to buy a sample of 100 sheets has gotten nowhere. Might see if she would be interested in doing a co-op with her supplier.

I’ve tried shrink wrap bags, but it makes it kind of hard to smell the soap with it all closed off. At the craft fair, I ended up cutting one of the ends off. I am currently researching slightly over sized shrink bands that leave the ends open.

I’ve seen some folks use boxes, but those can be pretty speedy unless you are buying them in a large quantity. Maybe another co-op opportunity. Another option would be tissue paper or a printed ‘wax’ paper.

And the above is just for soap!

I started wrapping my lotion bars in cut-down coffee filters and putting in small jewelry size ziplock bags from Hobby Lobby, but not practical if you want to carry them in my purse or in your drawer at the office so now I’m looking at tins. I also want to do something for my ‘testers’...more money.
 

SideDoorSoaps

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I was using cotton bags and switched to boxes. I liked the bags because you can use them amfor other things after soap.
 

SoapSisters

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I love the idea of wrapping soap in catalogs, book pages and magazines. Is there anything in the ink that would cause DOS?
 

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