HelloFresh meal kit delivery service has become increasingly popular due to its convenience and sustainability efforts. I used the service myself while working a night shift job from 2018 to 2021. However, one issue that I and many customers face is how to dispose of the gel packs that come with their deliveries.
These gel packs are used to keep the ingredients fresh during transit and can accumulate quickly, leading to concerns about their environmental impact.
Fortunately, there are several ways to dispose of HelloFresh gel packs in an eco-friendly manner.
We will discuss them in detail in this post.
How to Dispose of HelloFresh Gel Packs
Hellofresh gel packs are designed to keep food, well, fresh during transportation. But once in your home, you don’t need them anymore.
Here are four ways to properly dispose of Hellofresh gel packs.
1. Recycle the Plastic Film
The exterior of Hellofresh gel packs is made of a film plastic known as LDPE, which is a #4 plastic. This type of plastic is commonly used for plastic bags, cling wrap, and other similar products. The good news is that this plastic is recyclable, but it requires some extra effort. To recycle the plastic film, follow these steps:
- Empty the gel into the trash.
- Rinse the plastic film to remove any food debris.
- Discard the plastic film via in-store drop-off or curbside recycling program.
2. Reuse the Ice Packs
If you have a need for cold packs, you can reuse Hellofresh gel packs. Here are some ideas:
- Use them as ice packs for picnics or outdoor activities.
- Place them in a cooler to keep food and drinks cold.
- Use them to soothe sore muscles or injuries.
3. Donate the Ice Packs
If you don’t have a need for the gel packs, consider donating them to a local food bank or shelter. Many organizations that provide meals to people in need can use gel packs to keep food cold during transportation.
4. Dispose of the Gel Packs in the Trash
If you are unable to recycle or reuse the gel packs, the last resort is to dispose of them in the trash. But you have to do it carefully.
Here are some tips:
- Empty the gel into the trash.
- Seal the gel pack in a plastic bag to prevent any leakage.
- Dispose of the gel pack in the trash.
Why Proper Disposal is Important
The disposal of HelloFresh gel ice packs is important for several reasons. Firstly, improper disposal can harm the environment. The ice inside the packs is not biodegradable and can cause damage to the soil and waterways if not disposed of properly. Secondly, the plastic wrappers that cover the ice is also not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to break down. This means that if the plastic film is not properly disposed of, it can remain in landfills for a very long time.
Proper disposal of HelloFresh gel ice packs is also important for health and safety reasons. If the gel inside the pack leaks, it can be harmful to people and animals. The ice is made up of a mixture of water and a polymer, which can cause skin irritation and eye damage if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. If ingested, it can also cause harm to the digestive system.
Another reason why proper disposal is important is that it helps to reduce waste. HelloFresh is committed to sustainability, and properly disposing of the ice packs is one way that customers can help to reduce waste and support the company’s efforts to be environmentally friendly.
Alternative Uses for Gel Packs
While disposing of gel packs is important, it’s also worth noting that there are alternative uses for them. Here are a few ideas:
Cooling Food and Beverages
One obvious use for gel packs is to keep food and beverages cool. This can be especially helpful when going on a picnic or camping trip. Simply freeze the ice packs and use them to keep your food and drinks chilled.
Reducing Swelling and Inflammation
Gel packs can also be used to reduce swelling and inflammation. Simply place the ice pack in the freezer for a few hours, then apply it to the affected area. This can be especially helpful for injuries like sprains and strains.
Keeping Medications Cool
If you need to keep medications cool, gel packs can be a great solution. Simply freeze the gel pack and place it in a small cooler or insulated bag with your medications.
DIY Ice Packs
If you’re in need of an ice pack but don’t have any on hand, you can easily make your own using an ice pack. Simply wrap the ice pack in a towel or cloth and apply it to the affected area.
While these are just a few alternative uses for ice packs, there are many other creative ways to repurpose them. Just be sure to follow proper disposal guidelines when the ice pack is no longer needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can HelloFresh gel packs be recycled?
Yes, the plastic film that covers the cold packs can be recycled. But the gel must be emptied into the trash before recycling. Some recycling programs may require that the plastic film be taken to a drop-off location instead of being placed in the curbside recycling bin.
Can HelloFresh gel packs be reused?
Yes, HelloFresh cold packs can be reused. After using the ice pack, simply rinse it out and freeze it again. However, it is important to note that the ice pack may not be as effective after multiple uses.
What should I do if the gel inside the pack leaks?
If the gel inside the pack leaks, it is important to handle it carefully. The gel can cause skin irritation and eye damage if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. If the gel leaks onto clothing or other surfaces, it should be cleaned up immediately with soap and water. If the gel comes into contact with the skin or eyes, it should be rinsed off immediately with water and medical attention should be sought if necessary.
Can I donate HelloFresh gel packs to local food banks or shelters?
Yes, many local food banks and shelters accept donations of gel packs. However, it is important to check with the organization first to make sure that they are able to accept the donation.
There are several ways to dispose of HelloFresh cold packs. These include:
- Recycling the plastic film via in-store drop-off if it has the numbers 2 or 4 on it. Most grocery stores offer this service.
- Emptying the gel into the trash and then recycling or discarding the plastic film
- Taking summer liners to a nearby recycling center and trashing winter liners
- Cutting a small corner of the pack and emptying the water-soluble contents into the trash before recycling the plastic pack
If you have a large number of cold packs, consider reusing them for other purposes. For example, they can be used as ice packs for picnics or as a replacement for ice cubes in coolers. Alternatively, you can donate them to local food banks or shelters that may have a use for them.
Overall, it is important to be mindful of how we dispose of waste, including gel packs. By taking a few extra steps to recycle or discard them properly, we can help protect the environment and reduce waste in landfills.