The joy and excitement of unwrapping presents never really wears off, no matter how old we get. However, as we all become more environmentally conscious, the pile of discarded wrapping paper that we end up with (especially around Christmas time) can leave us feeling guilty. So, to up the feel-good factor of those fancily wrapped gifts and help us all to reduce waste, we decided to investigate that all-important question: can you recycle wrapping paper?
How to recycle wrapping paper
In short, the answer is yes! Wrappy days. However, as with most recyclable items, there are a few dos and don’ts. Here’s what you need to know to make sure you’re recycling wrapping paper responsibly.
Make sure it’s naked
A lot of wrapping paper that could be recycled ends up in landfill because it still has sticky tape attached to it. So before you put your paper in the recycling bin, make sure you remove every last piece of tape.
It’s also important to take any decorative bits and bobs off, such as ribbons and bows, as they don’t tend to be recyclable. You can re-use them though, so save them for future presents or crafting!
Keep it plain and simple
As a general rule, the more flamboyant the paper, the less likely it is that it can be recycled. Wrapping paper that is dyed, laminated or has non-paper elements, such as foiling, glitter, embellishments and plastics, sadly doesn’t pass the recycling test.
So, maybe save the fanciest wrap for those extra-special occasions and stick to pretty paper that can be recycled for the rest. Being kind to the planet is all about compromise and doing what we can, when we can!
When in doubt, scrunch!
Always check the packaging of your wrapping paper for information about recycling. Most product labels nowadays helpfully tell us what can and can’t be recycled. However, if this information isn’t available, you can put your paper through its paces with the scrunch test.
It’s very simple. All you have to do is scrunch your wrapping paper into a ball. Then, open your hand – if the paper stays in a ball, it’s very likely that it’s recyclable. If it unfolds and bounces back open, then it’s probably not recyclable.
It goes without saying that you should only do this with used wrapping paper. We’re not sure it would go down too well if you tried this test in a shop, even if it is for a good cause!
It might not win the Nobel Prize any time soon, but it’s a pretty cool and quick trick to find out which bin to put your wrapping paper in! Don’t forget to recycle the inner tube once you’ve finished a roll too.
Wrap and roll
All this talk of wrapping paper has probably left you itching to get your hands on a fresh roll (or three), right? Well, we might be able to help. All of our wrapping paper is made from FSC-certified or sustainable sources, and quite a few of our rolls are recyclable and come wrapped in plastic alternatives too – just look out for information in the product description.
We even have some paper bows, ribbons and other wrap accessories so recyclable doesn’t have to mean plain. So...
Wrap it up, wrap it in, let the recycling begin!
Curious about Paperchase’s commitment to sustainability and protecting the planet? Read up on our sustainability pledges right here!