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Is gift wrapping paper recyclable?

is gift wrapping recyclable

You’ve watched Blue Planet, you love turtles and you want to do your bit this Christmas to be eco friendly. But you are a bit confused by mixed messages about whether you should be using gift wrap, brown paper, newspaper or even wrapping presents at all this Christmas. So I’ve put this little post together to help you answer the question; Is gift wrapping paper recyclable?

Skip the waffle, show me where I can buy 100% recyclable gift wrap!

 

A really quick test is the Scrunch Test but it’s not quite as simple as that.

So which gift wrapping is recyclable?

Supermarket ‘cheap as chips’ wrapping paper

Probably not recyclable. Even if it doesn’t contain any glitter, foil or added extras, the thin wrapping paper that is often found at the checkout is unlikely to be accepted by paper mills for recycling as it contains few good quality fibres for recycling.

Gift wrap with foil or glitter effects

The paper might be recyclable but the glitter and foil effects make it difficult and too expensive (if it is even possible) to recycle. At least the paper will biodegrade if put in general household waste but the foil and glitter additives might not.

Recycled wrapping paper

Yes, most probably recyclable, providing no glitter, foil etc is added. You can get recycled wrapping paper. However, there is a debate as to whether it is better to produce recycled paper or use virgin pulp from FSC certified sources as the recycling process itself is expensive and energy consuming. Another alternative could be using paper from easily replenishable sources such as bamboo that grows quickly.

stamped brown kraft wrapping paperBrown paper

This shouldn’t be recycled but should go in the compostable bin along with brown cardboard but that’s ok. Good environmental option! Not so good if you want a pretty design as you’ll have to do one yourself and make sure any design you apply is also compostable! Check out my Pinterest board for some ideas. Use vegetable based inks to stamp the paper and add natural embellishments like twigs, flowers and berries that can also be composted.

Printed, quality wrapping paper

Yes, this wrapping paper is recyclable. One thing you might like to check is what inks are used in the print. Some companies use eco friendly vegetable based inks that do not harm the environment. Also check if the paper used is from FSC sources.

All of the gift wrap in my Flamingo shop is 100% recyclable, uses vegetable based inks and is from FSC sources.

We can confirm that all Flamingo Paperie gift wrap is recyclable. It is printed on Amber Graphic Material which is ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free). This is a technique which uses chlorine dioxide for the bleaching of wood pulp and does not use elemental chlorine gas during the bleaching process, so preventing the formation of dioxins, dioxin-like compounds and carcinogens. We also use vegetable inks with water rather than the alcohol damping process. Individual local authorities have their own rules on what they will and will not recycle, but we can confirm that our paper is fully recyclable. (statement from Flamingo HQ)

If you are a designer looking to print your own gift wrap then there are UK print companies that have a very high standard of eco friendly printing like Ashley House.

General tips on making gift wrapping paper recyclable

Before recycling or composting your gift wrap make sure you remove all sellotape, tags, ribbons, bows etc. Gift tags might be recyclable/compostable but the ribbon that they are attached often isn’t so make sure you remove it first. If in doubt, ask the company, they will know. Many gift wrap companies have an environmental policy like Flamingo Paperie. In fact all their gift tags, including the jute string, are 100% recyclable.

For further information see Recycle Now

Also wondering what Christmas cards to buy? You might be interested to know that all our Christmas cards are charity cards as well as being environmentally friendly.

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Going Naked!

going naked

You’ve seen Blue Planet, right? We all know that we shouldn’t be using plastic straws and disposable plastic cups. I’m sure we’re all trying to do a bit here and there to make a difference. Well here at cardsandgiftwrap.co.uk we’re going one step further and going naked!

Should you avert your eyes if I’m going naked?!

It’s ok, no censorship required. Here at Cards and Gift Wrap we have been trying to cut down on plastic for a few years now. It’s a long time since I sent out any greeting card orders in cellos. There is just no need. When you buy a box of cards I will wrap them in reused bubble wrap where they do need some protection. But the Naked Cards challenged has made me think bigger. Even now, I’m looking at how to send the cards in cardboard instead. Most of my orders now go out in a cardboard box. This protects the cards but sometimes there does need to be something wrapped round the cards to stop them being damaged in the post as they shoogle about in the box. (I do love the word ‘shoogle’, don’t you?!).

Packaging is something I’m still working on. I’ll continue to use bubble wrap as long as I receive it with deliveries. However, I will never buy bubble wrap for packaging.

What about cards in baskets and at events?

Another aspect of my selling is through baskets in workplaces. I would love to go cello free here too but I know from experience that baskets get dropped. There have been a few times I’ve collected baskets with the entire contents in disarray and upside down, clearly after someone dropped everything out of it. Accidents happen. That’s fine, I’m not complaining. But because accidents happen the cards need to be protected. However, I would be quite happy if people took cards out of the baskets and left the cellos for reuse. Where I use celloed cards to fulfil an order I remove them from the cellos and reuse the cellos where possible. If you’ve ever had one of my baskets in your work place you will probably have seen the odd dog eared cello on a card. It doesn’t always look good but know that it’s because I’m trying to do my bit for the environment; the turtles and the whales, and reduce my use of plastic.

We have just launched a new range of pocket notebooks. These will not go in cellos. If people buy packs of notebooks I’ll wrap them in a paper sleeve.

I would love to hear more suggestions of what I can do to save our beautiful blue planet. Comment below or contact me with your ideas.