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Because You Asked

Can I Recycle Wax Paper?

By Recyclebank |

While beloved by bakers, wax paper doesn’t belong in the bin.

Dear Recyclebank,

Can I add wax paper to my paper recycling?

-Kelly P.


Dear Kelly,

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.

MORE: Green kitchen paper products

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.

How do you green your use of wax paper in the kitchen? Tell us how in the comments below.

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  • Katelyn G. 1 year ago
    Actually, you can recycle wax paper. Paraffin wax, as a more commonly used wax, is not biodegradable. But, if you would like to recycle your waxed paper, be on the lookout for beeswax, soy, and palm wax on your waxed paper. It may take a while, ranging between 30 - 90 days, but you'll eventually start to notice the decomposition of your wax paper. Hope this was helpful! :)
  • Tammy D. 2 years ago
    Look for wax paper that uses soy wax
  • Connie P. 2 years ago
    I just thought that waxed paper was just that. I just about always choose that most popular kind as that is what I have used my entire life.
  • Andrea S. 2 years ago
    I didn't know there were different kinds of waxed paper. Guess I'll have to start reading labels on this stuff, too! LOL
  • tommy b. 2 years ago
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