Can you reuse boxes to ship UPS? (9 reuses) 

The article will address the question if boxes can be reused to ship UPS or not. Other related questions will also be answered such as 

  • How to properly reuse boxes to ship UPS?
  • What to do if the boxes can not be reused?
  • Creative ways to reuse boxes?
  • How to recycle and compost boxes to alleviate waste accumulation?

Can you reuse boxes to ship UPS?

Yes, you can reuse boxes to ship UPS, however, there are certain guidelines that you need to be mindful of. UPS also asks to avoid reusing if the condition is doubtful. This means it is possible but not really recommended by UPS

Reusing boxes is an innovative and eco-friendly thing to do. However, it is also necessary to ensure that the ‘reusing’ is done right because otherwise, there can be more harm done than good. 

To make sure that you use the boxes to UPS rightly, consider the following points 

  • Ensuring that the box is in good condition
  • Ensuring that labels and barcodes are removed
  • Being careful of the size and weight of the boxes 
  • Packaging the boxes correctly 
  • Ensuring that unallowed items are not packed 

Ensuring the good condition of the box 

Yes, you can reuse UPS boxes but for that, you need to ensure that the box is in the right condition to be reused. If there is any chance that the box may have any damage or fault, it is better not to reuse it. Doing so will also put your shipment contents at risk. 

Ensuring that labels and barcodes are removed 

It is pretty natural that all the labels and previous barcodes are properly removed. If not, there could be complications like your shipment ending in the wrong address. Also, it is inquired that you need to remove the logos or markings.

No, you do not need to remove the logos or cover them in any way. But all the barcodes could be removed. 

Be careful of the size and dimensions of the boxes to be reused 

Another factor that you need to ensure is that for the reusing of boxes, you select the right size and dimension. Using either too big or too small boxes will not only compromise your shipment but will also take up extra space which may create complications.

For example, if you have to ship a watch, you can not ship it in a cloth box as it will be too big for it. Hence, the determination of the right size is also very important. 

Packaging the box correctly

You also need to ensure that the package is packed correctly. If not, the shipment can be damaged. This also includes the determination of the right size of the box while also making sure that there is a sufficient amount of cushioning and padding. 

Also, you need to package the box correctly by using good quality and eco-friendly adhesives so that the box may remain intact and so do the materials inside. 

Avoiding unallowed materials

As the proverb goes by, know your league. If you are going to reuse boxes to ship to UPS, you need to know which materials you are not allowed to use. Some of them are common sense such as ammunition or explosives but some of them are rather technical such as airbags or marijuana. 

What to do when you can not reuse boxes to ship UPS?

It has been established that there are certain necessary conditions that need to be adhered to in order to make sure that the boxes are in usable condition. 

However, if the boxes can not be reused to ship UPS, what else can be done to them? When it comes to that, there are options such as

  • Discarding 
  • Recycling 
  • Reusing 
  • Composting 


The first thing you can do is simply discard the boxes. It is an easy step but not the best for the environment because the boxes will most likely end up in landfills which will lead to issues such as waste accumulation and pollution. 

The good thing here is that most boxes are made from biodegradable material (cardboard) and therefore, the impact of such boxes will be less as compared to other materials such as plastics or petrochemicals. 

This does not mean that discarding boxes should be encouraged because there still be a waste of resources and mismanagement issues. 


Recycling is the next best thing. Used boxes can also be recycled and this option will be much better as compared to simple discarding. 

Therefore, the question that now arises is how to recycle spare tires. There are several options when it comes to that. 

  • You need to check with the local waste collection or recycling centre. In most cases, you will either ask for a pick-up or you will be required to do a drop-off. 
  • If there is no recycling centre in your locality, you need to look for third-party recycling ventures such as TerraCycle. In many cases, these private and third-party recycling ventures will accept recycling your old tires. 
  • If the second option also wears out, you need to go for personal reuse options which will be explained in the following sections. 


The used boxes can also be composted if they are made from organic and biodegradable material and are not infiltrated with chemicals and synthetic dyes, inks et cetera. 

Composting is explained as the conversion of organic waste into compost which can be used as a natural fertiliser. Therefore, it can be stanced that composting leads to tons of benefits such as 

  • Decreased use of chemical fertilisers
  • Better waste management 
  • Increased yield 
  • Increased water retention and therefore water conservation 
  • Boosted productivity of plants and fields

Therefore, let us focus on how to do composting. This can be done through some simple steps that include 

  • You need to ensure that the box is made from cardboard and there is no non-biodegradable layer of printing on it. 
  • Find a suitable location in your home that is distant from your indoors but decently accessible 
  • You can compost either openly (compost piles) or in a compost bin. Both are fine. 
  • To initiate the process, make a heap made from compostable material 
  • Make sure to place the heap in a cool and dry place. Be sure to continuously and regularly mix it. 
  • Make sure that there is a decent ratio of brown and green matter. The brown matter will be the source of carbon whereas the green matter will be the source of nitrogen. Many suggest making the ratio 4:1. 
  • Wait and let external conditions and microbes do the work 


Other than these basic reuses, there are a lot of creative ways to reuse boxes. By doing so, you will ensure that you are innovatively doing your part toward sustainability and a sound environmental future. Some of these can be:

  • boxes can be used as a storage bin
  • boxes can be used to keep jewellery
  • boxes can be used as wall art
  • boxes can be used to make a wall clock
  • boxes can be used to make a serving tray
  • boxes can be used as storage boxes
  • boxes can be used to make cardboard letters
  • boxes can be used as draw dividers 
  • boxes can be used to give an aesthetic touch to your garden 


It is concluded that you can reuse boxes to ship UPS but you need to be careful of factors such as the boxes need to be in good condition and that all the barcodes et cetera need to be removed. 

Further, the article also explained what can be done if the boxes can not be reused to ship UPS and that included options such as 

  • Composting
  • Recycling 
  • Reusing 
  • Discarding 


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