Have you ever thought about how easy it is to recycle paper? It’s actually one of the easiest materials to recycle! But when it comes to recycling wrapping paper, things can get a bit tricky. Around 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper are produced in the U.S. each year. But, surprisingly, about half of that ends up in landfills.

Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of how you handle and dispose of your wrapping paper to reduce its impact on the environment. Let’s explore is wrapping paper recyclable!

Can You Recycle Wrapping Paper?

If you are an environment enthusiast, while wrapping a gift, you must’ve wondered – “Is wrapping paper recyclable?” Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to this question. Various types of gift-wrapping paper have different recycling capabilities.

Wrapping papers that cannot be recycled are those that contain non-paper elements such as metallic decorations, glitter, plastic layer, lamination, or other such decorative elements which fall under non-recyclable materials.

To determine if the paper has a plastic coating, you can conduct a rip test. If the paper does not rip easily, then it contains plastic.

However, regular glossy or matt finish wrapping paper can be recycled as long as it is made entirely of paper. To be sure of the materials used, you can check the packaging or contact the manufacturer.

Always remember not to recycle gift wraps that contain non-paper materials, as they can contaminate the recycling process.

What Type of Wrapping Paper Is Recyclable?


Did you know that most wrapping paper can be recycled? That’s right, even if it has a design on it! However, the fancier the wrapping paper, the harder it may be to recycle – think glittery, metallic, or textured paper.

Here’s another trick to find out if your wrapping paper is recyclable or not: scrunch it up. If it stays scrunched and doesn’t get flat again, then it’s probably pure paper. As mentioned earlier, this type of wrapping paper is recyclable. But, if it doesn’t stay in a ball and gets flat again, it’s likely that it can’t be recycled as it contains other elements.

According to UK professional Ryan Banks, businesses with high turnover of wrapping paper have long adapted to sustainability practices by introducing both systems to recycle and re-use.

Don’t worry if you end up with wrapping paper that can’t be recycled! You can always repurpose it. When you or your loved ones open gifts, just do it carefully so that the wrapping paper can easily be reused in the future.

How to Recycle Wrapping Paper?

As explained earlier, many types of wrapping paper contain foil or are coated in plastic film. You don’t have any recycling options for those kinds of wrapping papers. However, wrapping paper made solely from paper is acceptable for some communities. Some of them may refuse it altogether, fearing contamination in the recycling process.

So, if you’re wondering whether or not your curbside recycling accepts wrapping paper, be sure to check with the company that hauls it. And if they don’t, you can try contacting your county or a local recycling business to see if they accept it.

How to Reuse Wrapping Paper?

When you can’t recycle the wrapping paper you have, it’s wise to reuse it. And there are many creative ways to reuse wrapping paper. The most obvious is to simply keep it and use it for future gift wrapping. You must also store all the bows, ribbons, and other wrapping accessories since they can’t be recycled.

But that’s not all you can do with wrapping paper! It’s also great for other paper craft projects like making cards or scrapbooking. You decorate a bookshelf, book covers, or cupboards of kids with wrapping papers. They can also be used to add a pop of color and pattern to party decorations.

What are the Sustainable Gift Wrapping Options?

Do you wish to make your gift wrapping more eco-friendly and enjoyable in the next holiday season? Well, there are some super creative options that you can try out! Here are three easy ways to use less wrapping paper and still have a blast while doing it.

  • Reuse Used Wrapping Paper

    Save decorative wrapping paper at a designated place. Allow your family and friends to use them so they don’t go to waste. You can recycle the wrapping paper or even make new, original designs with the old wrapping paper.

    If every household can reuse wrapping paper, a lot can be saved from being dumped in landfills. So next time you unwrap a gift, don’t toss the paper – get creative and give it a new life!

  • Use Plain Wrapping Paper

    Of course, using 100% paper wrapping paper eliminates the need to worry about it ending up in a landfill, as recycling that wrapping paper is possible. Use reusable bows and ribbons for the much-needed decorative flair.

  • Opt for Non-paper Substitutes

    There are numerous reusable and beautiful substitutes. Old newspapers, scarves, or tote bags are all great choices. You can also buy reusable wrapping paper that may be used more often.


  1. Can wrapping paper be composted?

    Yes. You can use non-glossy, non-waxy, non-metallic, or non-plastic-coated wrapping paper as brown material in your home compost.

  2. Is tissue paper recyclable?

    Tissue paper is a very low-grade sort of paper because it is thin and may already be recycled. If it’s not metallic and doesn’t include glitter, you can compost it. However, some curbside recycling programs can pick it up as well.

  3. What is wrapping paper recycled into?

    Wrapping paper recycling may result in products like egg cartons, greeting cards, toilet paper, grocery bags, etc.