A growing tendency towards online shopping has led to everyone having more packaging material at home than ever before. As a business, we rely on a variety of high-quality packing materials to ship our goods safely around the world. We are mindful of the impact that can have, and this blog will provide some great ideas for how you can reuse and repurpose them.

Read on to get at least 15 great ideas for how to reuse your Charnwood packaging.

Cardboard boxes

One packaging material every household usually has in abundance is cardboard. Whilst recycling is better than nothing, ‘reusing’ is the best solution for your cardboard waste. At present millions of tonnes of usable boxes are being pulped and then made back into cardboard boxes – producing exactly what was started with. This is a huge waste of resources and energy, that is as bad for the pocket as for the environment. Here are some great ideas on how to reuse that cardboard box!

Please note: For the following ideas, it is important to use untreated chemical-free biodegradable cardboard which is what we use for A.J Wells, Vlaze and Charnwood packaging. Also, remove any sticky tape, large staples, and labels that are stuck to the box before using it in the garden.

In the Garden


Cardboard is an ideal source of carbon for composting. Simply shred or tear your cardboard into small pieces so that it will break down more quickly.


Place shredded cardboard around your plants but make sure the cardboard mulch is not in direct contact with the stems. Water the cardboard to speed up the decomposing process.

For those who grow vegetables using the ‘no dig’ method, our large boxes are ideal for mulch beds and don’t even require shredding! Watch ‘No Dig’ guru Charles Dowding to get some further tips.

Controlling Weeds

A couple of layers of cardboard is a useful tool to suppress weeds. Place them at the bottom of a new raised bed to stop weeds growing through to the topsoil.

Protecting Raised Beds

Cardboard can be used to cover and protect raised beds during the winter. It helps by stopping heavy rain from draining valuable nutrients away. The cardboard will slowly decay and help prepare the soil so it’s ready for Spring planting.

Encouraging Worms

Worms love wet cardboard and your garden loves worms! Worms aerate the ground and help with composting and mixing. Use cardboard in a multitude of ways to encourage worms to take residence.

Clearing a Pathway

Cardboard is also effective at clearing ground and can be used to create a natural pathway between vegetable rows. Just place cardboard on the dirt where you want your path and then cover with bark chips.

In the home


Old cardboard is great for creating decorations for any occasion – birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, you name it! A pair of scissors, some paint or felt tips and a good imagination can go a long way. Cutting out people’s names or ages and decorating them for wall hangings is just one lovely idea. Check out YouTube for loads more!

Moving home, stylish storage or shipping

There is a range of creative storage ideas that add a little style and glamour to the humble cardboard box. With just a cheap spool of twine, you can transform a cardboard box into a far more expensive-looking designer option – who doesn’t like a saving?!

Castle for the kids

The most fun option and one to keep the kids happy and take their artistic and architectural skills to a new level – check out this link for some inspiring ideas!

Corn Starch Pellets (PLA)

We use corn-starch PLA pellets inside boxes to provide added protection to our products during transportation. Whilst they do look and function much like polystyrene pellets, they are actually made of a plastic substitute (PLA) and are fully biodegradable and compostable.

Please note that while corn-starch PLA materials are compostable, the correct conditions must exist. Oxygen and light are required, which breaks downs the PLA into carbon dioxide and water within several months.

Shredded Paper & Cardboard

We also use shredded paper and cardboard from our offices to pack some items. Because we use vegetable-based inks they are suitable to be used as fire lighters in your wood-burning stoves.

Wood Pallets


Our wood pallets are made in-house from virgin, kiln-dried, untreated, soft wood which makes them ideal kindling for your woodstove. Just dismantle the pallet and carefully remove any nails before breaking down into kindling.

Here are some other essential wood-burning stove tips.

Compost bin

Compost bins need to have sufficient gaps to aerate organic matter. Wood pallets are an ideal size and with their long gaps between panels create the ideal walls for a compost bin.

Vertical planter

So easy to make and look amazing in the garden! There are few design variations, but you can easily fit plant pots or potting trays in between the slots with minimal effort. Check out the video above for ideas.

Plastic Bags

With plastic bags becoming scarcer and rightly so, when we do get them, it is imperative that we reuse them – particularly when they are sizable. You can use the big plastic bag that comes with some of our products for protecting and storing large items such as a cot mattress or surplus bed linen in the loft.

If you want some great tips for reusing smaller bags then check out this blog on great ways to reuse plastic grocery bags.


We see the packaging we ship our products in as part of our product offering. A high-quality material that with a little effort and imagination can be repurposed and benefit the end-user and environment.

We will continue to look for ways to reduce excess packaging while aiming to use environmentally friendly materials and encouraging reusing where possible. Together with you, we hope to minimise any negative impact that packaging can create on the environment.

To read about our Net Zero 2050 commitments and plan of action as well as our other eco-initiatives click here.