Most gift wrap is not recyclable.
Many people load their recycling bins with wrapping paper, tissue, ribbons, Styrofoam and more. Unfortunately, most gift wrap is not recyclable. Why Not? Wrapping and tissue paper is often dyed, laminated and/or contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver colored shapes, glitter, plastics etc which cannot be recycled. Ribbons and bows can get wrapped around the equipment and shut the whole process down, plus they are usually made with non-recyclable plastics. Styrofoam from boxes and other gift packaging is also not recyclable and should be thrown in the trash.
Holiday Wrapping Recycling No’s
- Gift Wrap with Glitter, Gloss, Plastics, Metallic Coatings, or Foils
- Tissue Paper with Glitter, Gloss, Plastics, Metallic Coatings, or Foils
- Bows, Ribbon, Yarn, String (Any stringy item really)
- Excessive Tape or Glue
Holiday Wrapping Paper Recycling Yes’s:
- Plain paper wrapping paper (no “shine” or additives)
- Plain paper tissue (no “shine” or additives)
- Brown paper grocery bags
- Large sheets of craft paper
What to do with Non Recyclable Wrapping Paper:
- DONATE your used wrapping paper and packaging to JAM Art & Supplies in Sioux Falls. They can use it for Creative Reuse Camps.
- Tip: Use Reusable Options that you can reuse over and over again like decorative boxes, Towels or fabric (keep out of the recycling bin though). For ribbons and bows, go for twine or more natural string that will decompose better in the landfill.
See wrapping paper guide with pictures:
Other holiday item guides: