Can you recycle wrapping paper

As the holiday season approaches, many people are wondering what to do with all the wrapping paper that comes with gift-giving. While recycling is always a good option, it’s not always clear whether or not wrapping paper can be recycled.

What Is Wrapping Paper Made Of?

Wrapping paper is typically made of paper or a combination of paper and plastic. The paper can be coated with various materials, such as glitter or foil, to create a decorative effect.

Can You Recycle Wrapping Paper?

The answer to this question is not a simple “yes” or “no”. Whether or not wrapping paper can be recycled depends on a few factors:

  • Materials: If the wrapping paper is made entirely of paper without any additional coatings or decorations, it can usually be recycled. However, if the paper is coated with glitter, foil, or any other non-paper material, it cannot be recycled.
  • Curbside Recycling: Some municipalities accept wrapping paper in their curbside recycling programs, while others do not. Check with your local recycling program to see if they accept wrapping paper.
  • Reuse: If the wrapping paper is still in good condition, consider reusing it for future gift-giving occasions. This is the most eco-friendly option and can save you money in the long run.

How to Recycle Wrapping Paper

If your local recycling program accepts wrapping paper, here are a few tips for recycling it properly:

  1. Remove any non-paper decorations, such as ribbons or bows.
  2. Flatten the wrapping paper to make it easier to handle.
  3. Place the wrapping paper in your recycling bin.
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It’s important to note that some wrapping paper is not recyclable even if it meets the criteria listed above. For example, wrapping paper that has been laminated or treated with a glossy coating cannot be recycled.

Alternatives to Wrapping Paper

If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option than traditional wrapping paper, here are a few alternatives:

  • Reusable Gift Bags: Instead of wrapping gifts in paper, use a reusable gift bag that can be used again and again.
  • Fabric Wrapping: Wrap gifts in fabric, such as scarves or dish towels, that the recipient can reuse.
  • Newspaper: Use old newspaper to wrap gifts. This is a great way to reuse something that would otherwise be thrown away.


Can you recycle wrapping paper? The answer is “it depends”. Check with your local recycling program to see if they accept wrapping paper and make sure to remove any non-paper decorations before recycling. If your wrapping paper can’t be recycled, consider reusing it or using an eco-friendly alternative.