Upcycling Ideas for the holidays.

Unwrapping the Truth

A Guide to Recyclable and Non-Recyclable Wrapping Materials from your local bottle depot.


Nadine |

December 9, 2023

The joy of giving and receiving gifts during holidays or special occasions is often accompanied by the tradition of beautifully wrapped presents. However, the environmental impact of wrapping materials is an increasing concern. Knowing which wrapping materials are recyclable and which ones end up in the dump is crucial for anyone striving to reduce their ecological footprint. That’s why we felt, as your local bottle depot, that this information would be helpful for our community.

Let’s unwrap the truth about these materials.

Recyclable Wrapping Materials
Recyclable Wrapping Materials

Recyclable Wrapping Materials:


Recyclable: Plain paper and cardboard are recyclable materials. Opt for wrapping paper without metallic elements or plastic coatings, as these can render it non-recyclable.

Tip: To test if paper is recyclable, scrunch it into a ball. If it stays scrunched, it is likely recyclable.

Cardboard Boxes:

Recyclable: Cardboard boxes, whether plain or printed, are recyclable. Ensure they are broken down and flattened before placing them in the recycling bin.

Tip: Remove any tape or labels before recycling.

Brown Paper Bags:

Recyclable: Brown paper bags make excellent wrapping material and are recyclable.

Tip: Personalize them with drawings or stamps for an eco-friendly touch.


Recyclable: Fabric gift wraps or reusable cloth bags are sustainable alternatives and can be used repeatedly.

Tip: Look for fabrics made from natural fibres like cotton or linen.

Recyclable Plastics Christmas
Recyclable Plastics Christmas

Recyclable Plastics:

Recyclable: Some types of plastics are recyclable. Check the recycling symbol and number on the plastic to determine if it can be recycled in your area. Beverage containers can earn you $$$ when recycled with one of our local bottle depots or bottle pick-up service, Depozip.

Tip: Soft plastics like plastic bags are often not accepted in curbside recycling but can be recycled at designated drop-off locations.

Non-Recyclable Wrapping Materials:

Metallic or Foil Wrapping Paper:

Non-Recyclable: Shiny or metallic wrapping papers often have a plastic or foil coating, making them non-recyclable.

Tip: Choose alternatives like brown paper or fabric for a rustic and recyclable look.

Tissue Paper:

Non-Recyclable: While tissue paper is often used for its delicate appearance, most recycling facilities don’t accept it due to its low-quality fibers.

Tip: Reuse tissue paper for future gift-wrapping or crafts.


Non-Recyclable: Cellophane is a type of plastic that is not recyclable in most places.

Tip: Choose alternatives like compostable bags made from plant-based materials.

Bows and Ribbons:

Non-Recyclable: Bows and ribbons are often made from mixed materials, making them non-recyclable.

Tip: Save and reuse bows and ribbons, or opt for alternatives like twine or raffia.

Sticky Tape:

Non-Recyclable: Most adhesive tapes are non-recyclable due to their mixed material composition.

Tip: Consider using paper-based tape or reusable fabric ribbons.

When choosing wrapping options this holiday season, keep in mind that upcycling and reusing materials you already have on hand are the most environmentally friendly options. When we choose recyclable and upcycled materials, we are helping preserve this planet for many holly-jolly holiday seasons to come!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Regional Recycling!



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