Better Homes & Gardens

November 22, 2021

Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens "Why you shouldn't recycle most wrapping paper"
December 2021

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Here's Why You Shouldn't Recycle Most Wrapping Paper

By Hannah Bruneman

Every Christmas, people toss gift wrap scraps into their recycling bin without thinking twice. See why most wrapping paper belongs in the trash and what you can do to reduce waste.

You might think you’re being mindful by recycling your wrapping paper scraps during the holiday season, but you may be doing more harm than good. Did you know that most wrapping paper isn't actually safe to recycle? Due to lamination, gold foil, glitter, and other decorative flourishes, gift wrap is actually pretty harmful to our environment.

And the same goes for bows, too. Traditional plastic-paper bows with sticky backing definitely don’t belong in the recycling bin. Ribbons don’t, either. The good news is that bows and ribbon are recyclable if you keep them in storage and use them year after year. Here’s a tip: Even if the sticky side of the bow has worn away, a little bit of tape folded into a roll will do the trick.

To help reduce waste, we searched for innovative gift wrap that is recyclable. Half the fun of opening a gift is tearing into the paper, and the choices below let you do that while still feeling good about the environment. Before you reach for that glittery metallic paper at the store, consider these recyclable gift wrapping products first.

Earth-Friendly Wrapping Paper Alternatives

1. Wrappily Wrapping Paper

Wrappily estimates the amount of wrapping paper that is thrown away during the holidays is enough to circle the globe—up to nine times! To make better gift wrap without sacrificing the fun holiday prints, Wrappily uses neighborhood newspaper presses to print gift wrap on newsprint. That means it’s guaranteed to be recyclable!

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