Can I add wax paper to my paper recycling?
Wax paper makes baking easier and has lots of applications in the kitchen, but it should not be put in your recycling bin.
Wax paper (also called waxed paper) is exactly what it sounds like: paper coated on both sides with wax. The wax makes the paper moisture-resistant and therefore handy for wrapping foods without getting soggy. Unfortunately, the wax also renders the paper unrecyclable. When paper is recycled, it is broken down by water, which makes wax paper’s moisture resistance a liability. Like grease and other food residue, the wax cannot really be removed from the paper during the recycling process.
If you’ve just got to keep wax paper in your kitchen arsenal, consider greening your use as much as possible. Choose a version made from unbleached paper, since manufacturing bleached paper can release harmful chlorine into the environment. Look for wax paper that uses soy wax rather than paraffin wax; soy wax is derived from soybean oil, a renewable resource, while paraffin wax is derived from petroleum, which is non-renewable. And of course, reduce your use. Use just what you need and reuse it whenever it is possible to do so in a sanitary way.