3M Mailer Combines Recyclability with Right-Sizing

Made from paper, the finished mailers protect product shipments using proprietary padding technology.

Kate Bertrand Connolly, Freelance Writer

June 4, 2024

2 Min Read
3M Company PACR Mailer Material
3M

At a Glance

  • The paper-based material is more than 99% repulpable.
  • It runs on qualified automated packaging machines to form and fill mailers.
  • As part of an automated solution, the material offers three-times faster packing than manual methods.

Ecommerce vendors and other packagers that rely on mailers to ship goods to consumers will find a sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene mailers in the new 3M Padded Automatable Curbside Recyclable (PACR) Mailer Material.

The material, which is sold as rollstock, is made from a single layer of durable, protective kraft paper. It features proprietary 3M padding technology that protects against drops, bursts, vibration, and other shipping hazards. The material also resists moisture penetration, for protection against inclement weather.

The material enables  ISTA-3A certification, which is based on simulation testing of the damaging forces that packages experience when shipped through parcel-delivery services.

Significantly, the PACR material is curbside recyclable, like paper or corrugate (where facilities are available), and its light weight helps to reduce transportation-related carbon emissions.

“According to testing performed by Western Michigan University, the material can be recycled like paper or a cardboard box and is greater than 99% repulpable,” says a 3M spokesperson. “This material is not known to contain polyethylene, which is common in plastic-bubble and other paper-based mailing solutions.”

The material can be used with right-sized packaging equipment and is available in a variety of sizes, depending on the packager’s needs.

Fast, efficient automated packing.

The PACR material, running on qualified automated packaging machines, is up to three times faster than manual packing. Products to be shipped are conveyed into the automated packaging equipment, which wraps the material around the shipment and then seals and cuts the material to form a discrete mailer.

3M_Company_PACR_Mailer_Material_Close_up-web.jpg

The material’s padded side has a bubble-like surface that “allows the material to be heat sealable while providing similar protective performance to plastic bubble mailers,” the spokesperson says.

The PACR material can be heat sealed with dwell times of less than one second, which keeps packaging lines moving quickly and efficiently. The heat-seal process window is 400°F to 500°F and 400 psi to 600 psi.

The material is compatible with a range of printing technologies.

About the Author(s)

Kate Bertrand Connolly

Freelance Writer

Kate Bertrand Connolly has been covering innovations, trends, and technologies in packaging, branding, and business since 1981.

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