The holiday season is upon us once again, and that can mean only one thing: mountains of presents wrapped in a variety of packaging. Family households are known for shoving all of this into a black bag or into the recycling bin and hoping for the best, but with everything from cardboard to dyed wrapping paper helping us hide our special gifts, there are a few things that you should know.
Some local authorities will accept wrapping paper in home recycling collections, but not all. This is because some recycled paper mills do not take wrapping paper. The materials that go into making some kinds of wrapping paper result in a paper that can’t be recycled. This is because this wrapping paper contains non-paper additives such as glitter, which can’t be recycled with the paper.
Before you try and recycle wrapping paper that can definitely be recycled (wrapping paper that is plain and/or non-laminated, if it’s coloured) ensure that you remove any sticky tape, ribbons, and bows. These store-bought decorations often cannot be recycled. A good way to know whether or not you can recycle your wrapping paper is this: if you can scrunch it up, it can be recycled.
Tinsel, and glass or plastic baubles should be carefully disposed of in your general waste, but lights and wreaths can be recycled. If your wreath is made of natural materials, it can be recycled as green or garden waste once the glitter, ribbons, and bows have been removed from it.
Fairy lights are becoming increasingly popular at Christmas time and are even used to light up and showcase some gifts. These can be recycled at household waste recycling centres, though some local authorities may be happy to collect small electricals as a part of their recycling collections – you could also check the large recycling bins at supermarkets to see if they can be put there. However, any item that is classed as a piece of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment should be disposed of at a designated area, typically a household waste recycling centre, rather than put into general waste. Any item that has a plug or uses batteries (such as the LED lights that are used to decorate gift boxes etc.) is classed as electrical waste.
Labels and Envelopes
Labels and envelopes are everywhere during Christmas time. You may not think about it, but some of these contain sensitive personal information and you should endeavour to keep them in your pile of “things that need to be shredded”.
If a label or envelope has your name and address on it, it could be classed as a sensitive document, because it reveals your personal information. Try to keep these paper items away from the rest of your recyclables until you have found the time to shred them.
Afterwards, put all of your shredded paper into your paper and cardboard recycling box. Remember, if you get a gift in the mail, pull off its name and address label to be shredded. If you have a full bin already (and at Christmas that wouldn’t surprise us!) then you might want to hire in a shredding company to help. At Hungry Shredder, we run an on and off-site shredding service guaranteed to help you through the festive season, and increase your recycling too! For more information, get in touch with us today.