I buy a lot of products from Bob. He graces the packaging of Bob’s Red Mill products with a cheery demeanor after all.
Bob gives me my oatmeal, chickpea flour, almond flour, tapioca starch, teff flour, and he provides the wheat for my boyfriend’s bread baking. Perhaps the best part about good ol’ Bob is his products are everywhere. Bob’s products will be stocked at your local health food store, Whole Foods, and probably at whatever the hell grocery store is in your neck of the woods.
Here is my current stash of Bob’s Red Mill. Pretty hefty.
But Bob, is your packaging recyclable? I was hoping I could put my stash of Bob’s bags in my plastic bag stash. I usually take my plastic bags to Whole Foods’ plastic bag drop off once a week or so.
A quick Google search led me to a quasi-hostile blog post on Bob’s Red Mill’s blog. I got the vibe from the discussion board that the answer was no, Bob’s products can not be recycled.
But I so badly wanted to recycle my arsenal of Bob’s plastic bags, so I went ahead and sent them a well-crafted message.
Hi! I was wondering what type (what number) of plastic your standard bags are made of (the plastic that carries oats, almond flour, etc).
Also, what kind of plastic are your Whole Wheat Flour bags made of?
And I received a nice response:
Thank you for contacting Bob’s Red Mill.
Most of our packaging is not recyclable, but I can certainly pass this suggestion on to marking. At the prompting of many of our customers we did try recyclable packaging for a period of time however the bags did not prove to be durable enough for our needs and it was actually more wasteful because of the all the products that arrived broken on customers doorsteps that had to be simply thrown away or composted and then replaced.
The materials used in our clear packaging are polypropylene, cellophane and polyester.
The good news is that a lot of our products are sold in the bulk section of larger grocery stores, and you can purchase them in that way to save on packaging.
So there ya have it. The plastic bags are not recyclable, but some of the products can be bought in bulk. I will have to investigate further to see which products are available in bulk in my area*.
*Update: I have only been able to find Bob’s Red Mill Almond flour in bulk at my local health food store.