Is gift wrapping paper recyclable?
-Kathy and Ray Y.
Dear Kathy and Ray,
Thanks for the timely question! With Valentine's Day around the corner you may find yourself with a pile of gift wrap that needs dealing with.
It's wrapping PAPER, so you'd think that you'd be able to just toss it in with your other paper recycling, right? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Here are some steps to figuring out what to do with your stash.
What to do with used gift wrap?
- Check with your local hauler or municipality on its recyclability. This should always be Step 1, when you are unsure what can go in your curbside recycling bin. Most haulers will note that they do not accept wrapping paper that has foil, plastic coating, tape, decorations, or embellishment.
- If your gift wrap passes the test with your hauler and municipality, drop it in your recycling bin! Congratulations, job well done!
- If it can't be recycled, you've still got options — rewrap or upcycle! You could try being extra careful when unwrapping your gifts, and save the paper with your other wrapping supplies so you could use it when it's time gift again. If you never want to give the cute heart-adorned wrapping paper away, upcycle your the gift wrap into something new like a cool wreath.
You'll have a lot less to worry about after you receive a gift if you know the wrapping paper started off on a green foot. Here are two tips to keep your gift giving green:
- Buy recycled or recyclable gift wrap. Keep in mind what IS acceptable in your community, and make sure you purchase gift wrap that you can kick to your curb (in your recycling bin, of course). Sadly, this may mean you'll need to reconsider the glitter!
- Save money — skip the paper wrap! Use what you've got around the house to keep your gift a surprise. Grab the comic section of an old newspaper, or cut up an old sheet or shirt with a crazy, fun pattern for a fabric wrapping.