Inspiration, Tips and Advice

How to recycle Wrapping Paper the creative way!

Let’s talk about how to recycle Wrapping Paper

Christmas is great. We love Christmas. The festive treats, the feeling of goodwill in the air, the anticipation of gift giving and nothing beats spending some quality time with the family.

But, after Christmas Day has been and gone, it’s likely that you’ll be faced with a home full to bursting with used Wrapping Paper and other cardboard. If you’re like us, and you’re commited to helping the environment, ditching it in a bin just isn’t a conceivable option…

But what on earth to do with it? How can you recycle Wrapping Paper effectively?


Big ben wrapped in wrapping paper - recycle wrapping paper

Image credit: Recycle now

Some food for thought…

  • Great Britain bins 227,000 miles of Christmas paper every year
  • We use 40 million rolls of Sellotape as well

*source: GWP

Can you recyle your Wrapping Paper?


First of all, you can recycle wrapping paper. But it’s not as easy as popping it in the recycle bin. Unfortunately not all wrapping paper is indeed recyclable and that’s because gift wrap often contains much more than simply paper. If your Wrapping Paper is plastic-based, covered in sellotape or ribbons, or has Foil, glitter or White Ink, unofrtunately it won’t be recyclable. Lots of Wrapping Paper is also quite thin which means it’ll have few good fibres to reuse.

You can only recycle it if it’s 100% pure paper. It will say so on the label when you buy it, but if you don’t have that to hand anymore, there are ways to check:

Try to scrunch up the paper into a ball. If it scrunches, and stays scrunched, it can probably be recycled.

And if you’ve bought recycled wrapping paper in the first place, it can probably be recycled again.

So you’ve got recyclable wrapping paper – what do you do with it? Unfortunately, there are a few more steps.

Even if your paper is recyclable – not all councils will take it.

Some will let you put it into the recycling collection. Others insist you bring it along to a recycling centre.

You’ll need to check with your local authority. To find out which one takes your rubbish, click here for England and Northern Ireland, here for Wales and here for Scotland.

If after all that you’ve still got piles of disuses Wrapping Paper lying around, we’ve got a few ideas of how you can use it to make some trule creative concoctions. 


Scrapbooks are a great gift for friends, family and loved ones – and one of the great things about a scrapbook is that anything goes! To recycle wrapping paper for scrapbooks, just save your clean wrapping paper and pop it in a box, the offcuts will make great editions. If you’re thinking about getting started with scrapbooking, why not check out our guide, here.


Use it in the back of frames

If you’ve got an oversized photo frame, why not cover the back with wrapping paper then pop your photo in the middle? This works best with generic wrapping that isn’t too Christmassy – but if you’ve taken some festive snaps, this could be a great addition!

Create a wrapping paper bouquet

An easy way to recycle wrapping paper is to create things with it – and creating flowers from paper is surprisingly easy. The above map bouquet has been created by Pillar Box Blue, but you don’t have to use maps…

Why not save your wrapping paper and create a huge festive bouquet? You could use it for next year’s centrepiece!


Paper flower bouquet - recycle wrapping paper

Image credit: Pinterest

Make DIY decorations

It might seem strange to be making decorations for next year already, but with the abundance of card and paper you have lying around (plus a load of time off that you’re not sure what to do with), now’s the perfect time to get ahead. Grab the kids, friends and family and host a creative session. You could even use your old cardboard packaging from your festive feasts too.


If you use any of our ideas, or have your own ideas about how to recycle wrapping paper, why not tag us in your printed creations over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag: 




Here at, we’re committed to reducing our impact on the environment. From innovative packaging and sourcing carbon-neutral and eco-friendly papers to minimising and recycling our waste, we’re dedicated to doing good for our planet.
Find out about our greener pledge

About the author

Marius is our Head of Creative and loves to roll up his sleeves to do calligraphy for our social content. With a background in graffiti and over a decade of experience in the creative industry, Marius knows his design stuff. Aside from leading creatives, he can be spotted in West London playgrounds riding a seesaw with his daughter.

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