Compostable Poly Mailers

Lightweight, flexible mailer, compostable at home or in industrial facilities.
Become a Lumi member
Overview Materials Printing Sustainability Gallery Dielines FAQs

Compostable mailers have all the lightweight shipping benefits of traditional poly mailers, but with proper disposal, they break down into natural components that aid in healthy soil. 

These mailers a made from renewable bioplastic derived from corn starch combined with a synthetic binding agent for strength and flexibility. They can be composted in a home compost bin or in industrial composting facilities, depending on local availability.

Can be produced with one adhesive strip, or two for easy returns.

Materials

Printing

Sustainability properties

Dielines for standard sizes

Dielines are templates you can edit with Adobe Illustrator to create advanced packaging designs.
Read our how-to guide

Frequently asked questions

PLA/PBAT mailers have a shelf life of 9-18 months, depending on moisture and temperature. For the longest shelf life, store them in a dry, cool environment.

For positive printed designs (a design printed on a white background), the plastic liner inside the mailer will be grey. For reversed out designs (a design reversed out of a printed background), the mailer will have a white interior, which means you’ll see some translucency where there is white showing through on your design.

The PLA/PBAT mailers are certified home compostable and industrial compostable.

In the optimal conditions of industrial composting facilities, compostable plastic breaks down within 90 days, leaving behind only CO2 and water. An ideal mix of moisture, oxygen circulation, and temperature accelerate the material breakdown.

In a home composting bin, it takes come practice to mimic this ideal mixture. Break down can take up to a year for compostable plastics.

Access to industrial composting is limited, but as compostable plastic becomes more common, we hope to see more options — both home and industrial — for composting. For now, there are a few ways to ensure your compostable plastic ends up in the best place:

  • Provide resources for easy home composting.
  • Offer resources to mail-in or in-person dropoffs.
  • Encourage reuse — if your customer can extend the life of your packaging, they’re sparing new resources. Consider adding a second adhesive strips for a return strip, or encourage your customers to reuse the mailers for other uses.

Compostable Poly Mailers can cost 5-20% more than standard LDPE poly mailers. The strength of the PLA/PBAT poly mailers is comparable with regular LDPE poly mailers.

The blend of PLA (Polylactic Acid) and PBAT (Adipate Polybutylene Terephthalate) is what makes the mailers strong and flexible.

PLA is derived from renewable biomass, typically fermented plant starch from corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp. On its own, it’s somewhat brittle. When combined with PBAT — a fossil fuel derivative — it becomes stronger and more flexible.

It is best to dispose of compostable plastics in industrial composting facilities or home compost.

Just like food waste, compostable plastics trapped in landfills are missing the ideal mixture of moisture, heat, and oxygen, so they take a very long time to degrade, if the plastic can degrade at all.