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Natural History Museum recycled packaging


Boxing clever

To reduce the amount of waste the Museum produces we reuse unwanted boxes from other departments to pack and protect orders. 


Identifying the specimen

We find boxes are in unexpected places. Whether it’s container used for lollipops, a tub previously filled with gemstones or a sturdy box from something we received in the post, we search every corner of the Museum to find the perfect packaging for your order.


Collecting the sample

Each morning before orders are packed we head out in search of unwanted cardboard boxes from the Museum's laboratories, offices and cafés. One team's waste is another's treasure.


We flatten the boxes and stack them next to our packing table. For some products, we use tough, recyclable 100% paper padded bags filled with shredded paper to cushion products. You can re use or recycle them at home.


A new lease of life


A growth in online shopping means an increase in the amount of packaging material that we all receive.


So here are some top tips for how you can reuse packaging materials to reduce environmental impact.  


Natural History Museum recycling boxes



Cardboard boxes

  • reuse as gift boxes
  • keep larger boxes for moving home or storing goods
  • give to your local school for craft projects
  • use for animal bedding
  • mulch down into compost

Jiffy bags

  • reuse for postage
  • tape around outdoor pipes for insulation in the winter
  • store delicate items such as Christmas decorations
  • keep drawers organised: store screws, tape and other things together
  • cut down, fill with compost and use for plants

Packing peanuts

  • reuse to cushion delicate items such as Christmas decorations
  • use for drainage in the bottom of a planter
  • use them to fluff up a fading bean bag
  • cut into shapes and use as stamps for kids' crafts