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Recycling Boxed Wine Bags

One of the innovations I developed over the summer with the #UrbanAgTech summer camps was recycling boxed wine bags. It’s super easy to do once you understand how they work. The trick is to be prepared.

Double Wall Design

I honestly never paid much attention to wine bags from boxed wine. They are ingenious in their design though. The have two plastic walls, a smooth inner bag, and a rougher, more durable outer bag. The bags are fused at the bottom and top and at the spigot dispenser.

I discovered their usefulness quite by accident. My renewables camps were exploring synthesizing multiple types of fertilizer and I needed a way to contain the exact amount of fertilizer (which was usually in liquid form). Traditionally I use a vacuum sealer system, but with liquid that was impossible.

I cut the top of the wine bag off. This is when I discovered the double bag structure. And I thoroughly rinsed it out.

Vacuum Sealer 101

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Food Saver Vacuum Sealer

In future, I will only cut a small slit in the top as I think the smaller diameter hole will make the bag more stable while refilling. This will also allow me to refill the bags with a funnel. It’s easier to fill a funnel with liquid fertilizer.

Once you have the fertilizer in the bag, all you have to do is seal it. When you balance the liter of fertilizer in the bag you can insert the top of the bag in the vacuum sealer. You must not apply vacuum, though.

The vacuum sealer devices all have heat seal features (I prefer this brand). Balance the bag with the liquid and seal the top of the bag. The beauty of this is that each bag can be used multiple times.

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello My Renewables Summer Camper preparing composite minerals at Mezzacello.

Trust me. You do not want to spill Eden’s Ghost or Composite Minerals everywhere. They smell like death – even though they are an amazing fertilizer.

Friends In Need

So the obvious weakness in this strategy is that I cannot possibly drink enough boxed wine! That is where my friends and community come in. My dear friend Sabra brought me THREE Bags!

I of course shared three bags with her. The other cool aspect of this strategy is that it allows me to share my bio-products with my friends and neighbors. I also get real-time feedback on their efficacy.

So now I wait for my friends to test my fertilizers and give me feedback. So far, I have five neighbors and gardens testing my fertilizers. I will keep you posted!

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