October 26, 2020
Read the full article at Treehugger.com
Wrapping paper may be beautiful, but it can be an environmental nightmare. With thin paper fibers, dyed and laminated surfaces, and sparkly, metallic finishes, it is often impossible to recycle. Unless it's reused a few times, it gets tossed in the landfill after mere seconds of appreciation.
This amounts to approximately 4 million tons of wrapping paper and gift bags being thrown away annually in the United States. This is enough to circle the Earth nine times, or stretch 227,000 miles. It's an all-around unsustainable way of giving gifts to friends and family.
But it doesn't have to be that way! Enter Wrappily, a cool woman-owned business based in Hawaii that wants to make your gift-wrapping as eco-friendly as it is eye-catching. Wrappily's paper is 100% recyclable because it is made from newsprint, and newsprint happens to be one of the most environmentally-friendly papers out there.
Newsprint is made from a mix of wood pulp and sawdust and "uses the least amount of chemical agents to change the consistency or quality." In the U.S. today, 90% of newsprint is made from recycled materials, reducing demand for virgin resources, and a piece of newsprint can be recycled up to 7 times.
Wrappily goes on to say that its printing method "requires less energy and uses gentler, soy-based inks." There's a small degree of ink transfer that might happen to your fingers when handling the wrapping paper, but it's minimal – and there's a good reason for it:
"Our printing process conserves energy by not heat-sealing the ink on the paper, and does not use any additional chemically-based sealers or laminates — choices we made to keep the product as green as possible. Our paper’s soy-based inks absorb more thoroughly than petroleum-based inks which originally gained the reputation of rubbing off of people’s fingers."
Adding to its awesomeness is the fact that Wrappily uses old newspaper presses to print its pretty patterns – which, incidentally, are designed by local artists who compete for the job in an annual Earth Day design contest.
The paper should be stored away from sunlight because it's not acid-free and can yellow with exposure, but considering how short a lifespan most wrapping paper has, this shouldn't be a problem. At that point, you can either recycle it or toss it in your backyard compost: "Under the right conditions, newsprint will completely decompose in approximately six weeks. In fact it makes great seed pot starts for the garden!"
How's that for an eco-friendly solution to wrapping paper? Check out Wrappily for all the beautiful options you could order for this upcoming holiday season.
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