Wrapping Christmas presents is a chore for everyone every year, but sorting through wrapping paper is also a massive effort for local authorities. So if you’re looking to have a greener Christmas this year, here’s all you need to know about recycling Christmas wrapping paper.
Can Christmas wrapping paper be recycled?
Whether your wrapping paper can be recycled depends on the type of paper, and on your local authority.
A lot of wrapping paper can be recycled, provided it is pure paper.
Some authorities will let you put wrapping paper into your household recycling collection, while others may require you to drop it off at a recycling centre.
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If you’ve bought recycled wrapping paper this year, there is also a good chance it can be recycled again.
However, some authorities won’t accept wrapping paper, because it is often dyed, laminated, or contains non-paper additives like glitter or foil.
Some wrapping paper is also very thin and contains few of the good quality fibres needed to be recycled.
Sticky tape can also make wrapping paper very difficult to recycle, so it’s important to remove it before it goes in the recycling bin.
Simon Ellin, chief executive of the Recycling Association, told the BBC in 2017: “It’s a nightmare for paper mills this time of year. Not all wrapping paper is paper.”
He added: “It’s a crusade we’ve been on all year – do you really need to design a non-paper wrapping paper?
“Make paper with recycling in mind!”
To check for certain whether your wrapping paper will be accepted, check with your local authority.
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How can you tell if wrapping paper is recyclable?
A good way to check if wrapping paper can be recycled is the ‘scrunch’ test.
Try to scrunch the wrapping paper into a ball.
If the paper remains scrunched, it can probably be recycled.
Are there alternatives to wrapping paper?
In recent years, lots of people have been trying to cut down on waste at Christmas.
Instead of using wrapping paper to wrap your gifts this year, you can always give a newspaper a second life, and you’ll end up with some pretty unique looking presents too.
Nowadays, recycled wrapping paper is also readily available in most stationary stores.
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