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How to Recycle Gift Wrap and Gift Cards

How to Recycle Gift Wrap and Gift Cards

Paper gift cards and gift wrap are simply recyclable in your council recycling bin. 

There are of course all manner of uses for beautiful paper, boxes and cards, not least of all reusing them as wrapping or to make new tags. 

The vast majority of the gift wrap available from our largest retail stores is manufactured overseas and imported to Australia. And in December the volume of waste sent to landfill and recycling increases by up to 15%.

There are increasing numbers of places like Goodsmith's Wrappaporium each year who will wrap your gifts for you for a gold coin. They use recycled papers and fabrics, but to you of course, they are new! 

If you don't want to reuse wrap as wrap, use it for kids collages and crafts.  Alternatively, many schools, child care centres or nursing homes will take quantities for craft use. 

Bear in mind that cards or wrapping paper made with foil, cellophane or plastic covers are not recyclable.

Soft plastics can go to your local supermarket recycle, but it is best to avoid these kinds of products because too often there is nowhere else for them except the rubbish bin unless you are reusing them. And that's when they can end up as micro plastics and in our waterways.

Images: Unsplash - Raw  Pixel | Shutterstock
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Science Notes
It is estimated that each roll of wrapping paper uses around 600Wh of energy to manufacture. You could run a vacuum for an hour on that and 330L of water to produce plenty for a family of 4 to each take a long shower, emitting about as much CO2 as popping to the shops in your average sized car - about 1.5kms.

It all mounts up to a remarkable amount of effort and resource for what is fast becoming a single-use product.

A product that decorates presents for a matter of days and then, if there’s too much sticky tape on it, it will miss out on the recycling process entirely and go straight to landfill.Recycling cards and wrap reduces the use of energy, raw materials and water that goes into paper production and saves tonnes of landfill space. 

Related Tip
Make Christmas tree decorations using last years gift cards. Use the images already on the gift cards, punch a hole at the top of the decoration, attach a ribbon and hang from your tree. 

If you have a compost bin, anything made of card or paper is compostable and can go into the bin.