Merry Christmas and Happy all the Holidays!
How to process gift packaging:
Gift wrap with no foil or glitter: recycle bin
Gift wrap with foil or glitter: trash
If outside of Austin, you may need to check on particular types of paper accepted.
Gift bags: Reuse these if you can, they are best stored flat. If you cannot or choose not to, remove the handles and trash those, then recycle the paper bag if there’s no foil or glitter. Trash the whole thing if there’s foil or glitter.
There may be someone who is interested in collecting and storing these if you post on your local Buy Nothing group or neighborhood group.
Tissue paper: Reuse this if you can, it is best flattened out and folded gently. Put in the recycle bin if not reusing.
Ribbon and bows: Reuse these if you can or trash them if not. You can use tape on bows for the next use, and steam ribbons to un-wrinkle them.
Please remove bows and ribbons from wrapping paper before recycling the paper in your recycling carts.
Gift boxes/flap boxes: Reuse these if you can. If they get damaged remove both magnets from the closing mechanism and reuse the magnets or trash them, then recycle the paper box if there is no foil or glitter.
If there is foil or glitter on these boxes, trash the whole thing if it’s not reusable or recoverable.
Reusable fabric gift bags: Save and reuse.
Don’t forget to separate materials: Take ribbons and plastic off cardboard boxes, remove all the little plastic bits and twisty ties from kids toys and those go in the trash and the boxes get flattened in the recycling, etc.
Reuse Tip 1: I reuse ribbon bits like this as bookmarks. They are particularly helpful in thicker books and Bibles.
Reuse Tip 2: Seam seal, available in sewing sections of stores and online, will seal the ends of ribbons so they don’t fray.
If I miss anything let me know or you can check the Austin Recycles app or the website https://www.austintexas.gov/whatdo, or check with your local recycler for details.
Have a great green holiday season!