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Holiday Buying Guide for Sustainable Wrapping Paper and Gift Boxes

Holiday Buying Guide for Sustainable Wrapping Paper and Gift Boxes

As the holiday season approaches, consumers worldwide are eagerly stocking up on cards, shopping bags, shipping boxes, and wrapping paper to spread joy and cheer. However, amidst the excitement, some may experience a twinge of environmental guilt as piles of discarded materials accumulate in our homes.  

But let's not forget that the lifecycle of these materials doesn't end with the holiday season. 

Paper is one of the most sustainable materials around, and the paper industry's unwavering dedication to environmental performance only strengthens with each passing year. What sets the paper and wood products industry apart is its inherent circularity in the supply chain. From the regrowth of renewable resources like trees, which provide essential fibers, to the recycling of packaging and paper, which are transformed into new and innovative products. 

So how can you ensure a sustainable holiday season? Choose paper and recycle!  

By recycling the paper and paper-based packaging you utilize during the holiday season, you are not only preserving a precious natural resource—wood fiber from trees—but also preventing unnecessary waste from ending up in landfills. Moreover, this eco-friendly act helps to reduce the release of harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are generated when paper decomposes in landfills. 

What Can and Can’t Be Recycled 

With the abundance of paper products used during the holiday season, it can sometimes be challenging to determine what can and cannot be recycled. To help clear up any confusion, here are some helpful tips provided by the American Forest and Paper Association. 

  • Cardboard boxes – When it comes to those cardboard boxes you get from online shopping, rest assured knowing that they are designed with recycling in mind. Simply remove any non-paper packing materials, break down the boxes, and place them in your trusty recycling bin. It's a simple yet impactful way to give these boxes a new life and contribute to a more sustainable future. 
  • Greeting cards and envelopes – Paper greeting cards and envelopes can be placed in recycling bins. As long as there are no metallic accents, plastic, or glitter that can’t be removed, you are good to go. 
  • Paper gift bags – Paper gift bags can be recycled given there are no plastic, foil-coated paper, or other fabric attachments. However, if there are – simply save and reuse them for the next gift-giving season. 
  • Wrapping paper – Wrapping paper with no plastic coating can be recycled in many municipalities. 
  • Tissue paper – Tissue paper can typically be recycled as long as it’s not metallic or glittery.  

Want More Info? 

If you find yourself uncertain about the recycling guidelines in your community, BeRecylced.org provides a convenient nationwide search system that will direct you to the appropriate resources for your town's specific recycling regulations. 

The production, utilization, and recycling of paper-based packaging make a significant contribution to combating climate change. So, when you're deciding on the materials for your gift exchange, opting for paper-based options is the ideal choice. 

Download our eBook, Plastic Replacements Driving Sustainability Trends in the Pulp & Paper Industry, to learn more about the sustainable benefits of paper-based substitutions. 


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