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Reminder: Not all holiday wrapping items can be recycled

Reminder: Not all holiday wrapping items can be recycled


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The day after Christmas usually leaves behind lots of wrapping paper and ribbon - but make sure to dispose of it properly!

Not all products can be recycled, and officials are reminding consumers what can - and can’t be- put into the recycling bin.

The American Forest and Paper Association shared a post on its blog for those looking to get rid of wrapping paper and other items, 

and advised in its post against what it called “Wish-Cycling.” That means putting something in the recycling bin and hoping someone else figures out what to do with it.

While many items such as boxes, bags and wrappings are okay to recycle, decorations such as ribbons and bows may not be.

Holiday cards may also be non-recyclable if they contain glitter, plastic or are metallic.

According to paperrecycles.org, here is how to properly dispose of common paper-based holiday items:

Corrugated Boxes: Corrugated boxes – commonly called cardboard- you received on your doorstep from shopping online are designed to be recycled. 

Remove any non-paper packing materials (like air pillows or foam peanuts), break boxes down flat, keep them dry and clean and place them in the recycling bin. 

You do not need to remove shipping labels or tape. If your box is dented, beat up, ripped or even a little dirty from the shipping process, it can still be recycled. 

Just make sure it’s dry and free of any non-paper packaging materials.

Greeting Cards and Envelopes: Greeting cards and envelopes made of paper materials can be put in the recycling bin. 

Cards with glitter, metallic accents or plastic should be placed in the trash. Photo paper greeting cards also cannot be recycled. 

Don’t worry about removing the stamp from the envelope, the recycling process takes care of that for you.

Paper Gift Bags: Plain paper gift bags can be put in the recycling bin. However, gift bags made with plastic, foil-coated paper, fabric or other materials will need to go in the trash can if you can’t reuse them. 

If your paper gift bag has rope handles, glitter or beads, those things need to be removed before placing the bag in the recycling bin.

Tissue Paper: Tissue wrapping paper can typically be recycled as long as it’s not metallic, glittery or plastic based.

Wrapping Paper: Wrapping paper made from paper that does not have a plastic coating can be recycled in many municipalities. 

Foil, cellophane and plastic-coated wrapping paper, as well as paper with glitter, cannot be recycled. 

A general rule of thumb is that if you scrunch it up and it stays scrunched in a tight ball, it is paper-based and can be recycled. Make sure all bows and ribbons are removed as well.

Ribbons and Bows: Unfortunately, ribbons and bows are not accepted in recycling bin.

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