Don’t Recycle Holiday Ribbons and Bows

Some holiday waste can be recycled, but others are really harmful to the recycling process. Most of the wrapping paper is recyclable; Glitter paper, foil or plastic are unfortunately not recyclable and will have to be thrown away with the trash.

If it’s not too damaged, you can set aside the foil and glitter paper for next year – no need to buy new wrapping paper every year to just throw it in landfills – but what about bows, ribbons, and broken Christmas lights? The best options include reusing holiday wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows every year, and if you take a little thought, you can be successful next year. Here’s what to do with all the holiday gear after the holidays.

Reusing ribbons and bows

Store ribbons and bows separately from recyclable wrapping paper after the holidays. These items are hazardous to the machines of recycling companies , as synthetic and plastic belts wrap around the spinning wheels of the machine and cause clogging. The glue that allows onions to stick to wrapped gifts is also harmful to recycling businesses. Save your ribbons and bows for next year instead. There may not be enough glue for glued bows, but bows and ribbons work equally well with tape.

Use as packing material for transportation

The Holiday and Party Guide has some creative ways to reuse your old bows, but I prefer to use them for shipping. When it comes to shipping during the holidays, packaging materials are critical, but Styrofoam is incredibly dangerous and contributes to the formation of harmful greenhouse gases . Although old belts are not 100% environmentally friendly , reusing them results in less waste and helps keep Styrofoam from ending up in landfills.

Make bows into a garland

Recycling holiday supplies is a creative way to cut down on waste, and you don’t have to buy new material every year. Tied together, bows form a colorful and long-lasting garland, and can also make cleaning a fun activity for toddlers after the holidays.

Recycle your Christmas lights

Party lights are recyclable when delivered to companies that specialize in recycling them. Some companies, like Lowe’s or Home Depot, will take your old flashlights and provide discounts, while others will grind or melt the lights down to their raw materials to use in PVC piping, roofing materials, and other electronics such as car batteries. … You’re probably close to Lowe’s or Home Depot, but if not, Treehuggers journalist Russell McLendon can provide more information on recycling centers or programs where you can recycle old holiday lights.


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