Some wrapping paper is recyclable, but some is not. Follow this guide to learn about which is which, as well as gain some new nifty tricks on how you can avoid gift-wrapping waste and be a greener gift-giver.
Which Types of Wrapping Paper are Recyclable and Which Aren’t?
Don’t let its name fool you, not all wrapping ‘paper’ is recyclable. This is due to added glitters, dyes, and glossy finishes. That’s why it’s really important to know exactly which wrapping paper you can recycle, and how best to reduce waste by making greener, more sustainable gift-wrapping choices.
Wrapping paper can be recycled when it is plain, not laminated, and made from recyclable materials. Wrapping paper can’t be recycled when it has glitter, plastic, sequins, foil, or stickers on it or in it. Too much sticky tape or ribbons left on wrapping paper makes it non-recyclable as well. Wrapping paper also can’t be recycled when it is too thin, as it doesn’t contain enough good fibers for recycling.
To be sure, try the “scrunch test”: scrunch the wrapping paper into a ball and if it keeps its shape, it can be recycled. If it springs back into shape, it can’t.
How To Recycle Wrapping Paper
Before placing your wrapping paper in the paper recycling bin, make sure to remove all pieces of sticky tape, ribbons, bows, and labels. If recycled materials get mixed in with non-recyclables, it can complicate the sorting and recycling process at the recycling center. Often, when the materials can’t be separated, everything is sent to the landfill in the end, so this step is crucial.
How To Repurpose Wrapping Paper
Repurposing wrapping paper is an environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and fun way to reduce waste. Why not try out these crafty ways to repurpose your wrapping paper next holiday season or birthday celebration?
- Reuse It: If you use a little more care when unwrapping your gifts, you can easily reuse the wrapper again to give it another life.
- Recycled Wrapping Paper: Not all gifts have to be wrapped in glittery and shiny wrapping paper. Plain, recycled wrapping paper can be spruced up with ribbons, leaves, or pinecones. You could also personally customize it by drawing on it directly with markers.
- Creative Alternatives: Let your imagination take over here, and use old scraps of material, old newspaper, old posters, or reuse old books as unique wrapping paper alternatives.
- Zero Waste: Use baskets, gift boxes, or bags to give gifts.
- Japanese Art of Furoshiki: Impress your friends and family by learning the traditional Japanese method for wrapping gifts using a scarf or cloth.
How To Avoid Gift-Wrapping Waste
To further help avoid gift-wrapping waste, try to spread the word to friends and family, who might not be aware of the non-recyclability of wrapping paper. Maybe you can all agree together to make a conscious effort to use only recyclable wrapping paper, or all do a Furoshiki tutorial together.
- Precycling: How To Say No to Packaging Waste
- Plastic-Free Shopping: 3 Easy Tips for Waste Reduction
- Zero Waste Bathroom: Tips for Using Less Plastic
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