Can You Compost Amazon Boxes?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: September 21, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Yes, you can compost them. Amazon boxes, although the exact material is not known, are compostable. 

However, prior to putting them in a compost pile, we must shred the boxes–this gives the appropriate “green to brown” ratio. 

Yet, Amazon boxes do take a bit longer to decompose than the average box. 

How Do Amazon Boxes Decompose?

One of the best grades of paper for recycling is corrugated cardboard boxes. 

Because Amazon boxes are made so durable, it takes a long time for them to decompose. 

The high-grade cardboard they are made of has large fibers that are extremely sturdy.  

It takes a while for these to break down into the material needed to make lower-grade paper products. 

What is the Packaging Amazon Uses Made Of?

This packaging material used by Amazon for shipping is made of paper, cardboard, and/or #4 plastic.  

Some retailers have been using a biodegradable, nontoxic, packing peanut made from cornstarch. 

These packing peanuts can be easily dissolved in water. 

What are Amazon Boxes Made of?

Amazon boxes are made entirely out of cardboard. 

This makes them recyclable and also compostable. 

After removing all the tape and flattening it out, you can leave it at curbside recyclable locations. 

That is if you choose not to reuse them in your compost pile. 

What is Eco-Friendly Packaging?

Eco-friendly is a shortened version of an environmentally friendly type of packaging technique used by many retail shippers.  

Amazon is one of these retail merchants.  

When a merchant uses an environmentally friendly material for packages, this material is made from safe, sustainable material. 

The packaging material has been constructed out of material that was renewed or recycled. 

There is very little to no waste put into the environment in the making of this packaging product. 

What Types of Cardboard Boxes Can You Compost?

There are three main types of cardboard boxes you can use in your garden compost pile. 

These there are listed here: 

  • This first type is the ones you get from Amazon- the corrugated cardboard boxes. Once broken up into smaller pieces these boxes make excellent compost. 
  • The next type is flat cardboard. This kind of cardboard is what makes drink boxes, cereal boxes, and shoe boxes. 
  • Then there is the wax-coated cardboard. This type of cardboard has a wax coating on it because it has been laminated together with other materials. These are the non-degradable lining in your pet’s food bag. They may be decomposed as compost but are difficult to do so. 

How Do You Compost Amazon Boxes?

When preparing your used Amazon boxes for compost it is imperative to break them up into pieces that are small. 

The reason is that bigger pieces take a longer time to decompose. 

In addition to breaking it into small sections, you need to soak the cardboard in a combination of liquid soap and water. 

This soaking will help to make the process of decomposing happen more rapidly. 

After soaking the small bits of cardboard boxes, you will follow the steps below to make your compost: 

  1. A compost pile starts out with a layer of corrugated cardboard (Amazon boxes) piled into a 4-inch pile. 
  2. Adding some other materials that are rich in carbon–dead leaves, old hay, or straw works great. 
  3. Now put another 4-inch layer of materials rich with nitrogen on top of the cardboard.  These materials can be spoiled vegetables, fresh grass clippings, peeled fruit, manure from cows or horses. 
  4. Put two inches of soil over the top of this layer. Continue to layer steps 1 thru 3 until the compost pile is around 4 cubic feet high. 
  5. It is important to keep your compost pile constantly sponge-moist. Depending on its wetness, you may need to add more cardboard or water. Cardboard tends to soak up a lot of water, so you will need to watch it and add water accordingly. 

Now that you have constructed the compost pile, you will need a pitchfork to turn it every five days. 

This turning process aids in the decomposition process. 

In around six to eight months your composition will be garden-ready. 

This compost will be an excellent conditioner for the soil.  

When you continue to compost your cardboard boxes, you will notice this lowers the amount of trash that accumulates. 

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