Properly Disposing of Gift Wrappings and Packaging

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 26, 2016)

4

Because I am such a frugal and practical person, each year when I wrap gifts I think of the cost of the wrappings, trimmings, and bows, and what a waste it is to throw away something that cost so much. Most times, I use as little wrap as I can, saving the remainder for subsequent gift-giving events. At Christmas, I certainly always save shirt boxes and bows and recycle them year after year, until they finally fall apart and I am forced to throw them away.

There is the packaging of the items themselves to deal with, as well. For instance, I bought a flying saucer for our eight-year-old daughter several Christmases ago. The saucer was sealed in a tough, plastic package. To gain access to the gift, I had to use heavy-duty scissors to cut through the hard plastic. It took about ten minutes to complete the process, all the while Abby sat in anticipation of touching the saucer inside. What is the proper way to dispose of such a container? Do you simply toss it out with the garbage, or do you throw it in your recycle bin?

Follow these guidelines for choosing eco-friendly gift wrappings and properly disposing of wrappings and packaging:

  • Sort. When opening Christmas presents with your family, have three large boxes or garbage bags ready. Instruct everyone to toss bows into one, boxes and shirt boxes into another, and wadded wrap into the last. Throw out the Christmas wrap, but save the bows and boxes for another event.
  • Shred. Tear or cut plastic item packages into smaller parts and place inside of a box or bag. Contact your local recycling center for proper disposal instructions for hard plastic packaging.
  • Imagination. Invent ways to wrap gifts using other materials instead of wrap. For instance, if you're giving a kitchen item, you could wrap it inside of a new kitchen towel and tie it with a colorful kitchen wash cloth. Scarves, bandanas, and belts can also be used creatively to wrap gifts.
  • Reuse. I bought three candles from Bath & Body Works yesterday, and they wrapped each with several layers of heavy tissue paper. I folded the tissue and will use it for wrapping Christmas presents this year.
  • Recycle. Find ways to recycle gift wrap and use environmentally-friendly wraps that do not contain metallic elements.

Also, it is a good idea to contact your trash service and ask about removal of large boxes, such as those that computer monitors, washers and dryers, refrigerators, and large TV screens come in. Simply because you set large items at your curb does not mean that the trash service will pick them up. Do not assume they will. If in doubt, call them to make sure.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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What is 6 + 0?

2016-12-28 07:51:45

JJ

Please excuse the typo. 😄 That should read "any day", not "any way". Thanks.


2016-12-28 07:41:56

JJ

That's a smart idea. Nice going, Terry! That way the gift wrap can be reused instead of just being thrown out in the trash or burnt. Now why didn't I think of that? I've got a shredder; that's what I'll do next Christmas. Any way anybody can "reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose, renew", as one of my bookmarks puts it, the earth thanks them. Kudos, Terry!


2016-12-27 09:17:31

Terry

Shred the wrapping paper to use to pack your breakable Christmas ornaments.


2016-12-26 12:15:47

JJ

Please! Does nobody think of our much-abused environment, and recycle corrugated and other cardboard? If you don't want to keep your boxes after Christmas, please don't send them to the trash, OK? They'll just end up in a landfill, plowed under with all sorts of other things that can and should be recycled, plus stuff that can't. If you've got any concern for the earth & preserving the resources, you'll recycle. Plastics, newspaper, cardboard (corrugated or not), foil & cans, and glass can all be recycled. The more people who don't bother, the more things will have to be made from fresh materials, which leaves less for future generations, not to mention current ones. My friends, when our loving God created the earth and everything in it, He didn't create an unlimited supply. It would be nice if He had, but since he did not, let's all be considerate of the resources we have left. Thank you! God bless you.


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