I’ve always hated seeing beautiful wrapping paper tossed out moments after holiday gifts are unwrapped.
You can always try to reuse wrapping paper yourself, or use gift boxes or bags that can be easily reused. OPB’s Arts & Life did a video feature on the Japanese Furoshiki technique of wrapping gifts in reusable fabric.
But in the Portland metropolitan area, you can also recycle a lot of wrapping paper by putting it in the recycling bin.
According to Metro recycling specialist Patrick Morgan, the only wrapping paper you shouldn’t try to recycle is the paper with foil or a plastic coating. Paper attached to foil and plastic is harder to recycle, so it isn’t recycled through curbside bins.
You can tell if your wrapping paper has a plastic coating because it will have a sheen on it that makes it look like cellophane, Morgan said. It might be harder to tell whether wrapping paper actually has foil in it or if the metallic color comes from ink.
Morgan recommends checking the label, which will usually say whether it has foil in it.
“Tape isn’t a big worry,” he said. “Just remove ribbon and bows.”