After the holidays are over, you may be overwhelmed with the number of boxes, bubble wrap, and wrapping paper that you have scattered about your home. While you may be tempted to throw all of it in the garbage, there are easy ways to recycle packaging after the holidays.

Recycle Packaging After the Holidays Carefully

It is important to sort out these items properly and not throw anything in the recycling bin that can’t be recycled. When non-recyclable items are in your recycling bin, everything in it ends up in the landfill. Learn how to recycle packaging after the holidays effectively by reading this article.

Cardboard Shipping Boxes

When you want to recycle packaging after the holidays, shipping boxes are a safe bet. Corrugated cardboard boxes can be recycled and it is fine to leave the packaging tape and labels on. The most important thing to remember with these types of boxes is to break them down and flatten them. Recycling companies often prefer large boxes to be folded flat and taped so they will fit in the recycling bin and not fly away in the wind.

Styrofoam Blocks and Peanuts

Styrofoam is no friend to environmentalists, yet it is nearly impossible to avoid when you have purchased electronics and breakable items as gifts. Most people just throw packaging peanuts and styrofoam blocks in the trash, thinking that there is no other alternative. Fortunately, there are drop-off sites and mail-in programs to recycle packaging after the holidays. If you are someone who ships lots of packages, you could save pieces of styrofoam in a bin and re-use it next time you mail something.

Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper can be tricky because some recycling centers accept it and some do not. Check with your local recycling agency to find out their guidelines. For the ones that do, only certain kinds of wrapping paper are accepted. Usually, the type of wrapping paper that can be recycled is thick, high-quality wrapping paper with no shiny material or glitter on it. If you do recycle this type of wrapping paper, remove the scotch tape and any ribbons or bows. An easier solution is to save large pieces of wrapping paper and store in a bin for next year’s use.

Gift Bags

Like wrapping paper, some recycling centers will accept certain gift bags and some will not. If the bag is made only out of paper, it is more likely to be accepted as long as you remove the string handle, staples that attach the string, and any bows or ribbons. Gift bags are also easy to save and use again next year, so doing this is the best and easiest option.

Toy Packaging

Toy packaging usually consists of a cardboard box with a plastic window to see what’s inside. This cardboard is generally recyclable, but you have to remove the plastic window first and discarded. Plastic handles, twist ties, rope, or any other appendages should also be removed.

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