Tips for properly discarding packaging materials this holiday season
Republic Services is bracing for an influx of discarded packaging material this holiday season and is offering tips to consumers as they discard boxes, bows and gift bags. The National Retail Federation projects November/December retail sales of $859 billion, up 8.5 percent from 2020. And last year alone, the United States Postal Service delivered 1.1 billion packages during the holiday season and is expecting more of the same this year.
With consumers doing more of their holiday shopping online and supply chain issues limiting the availability of raw materials, it's more important than ever to recycle properly.
"People can support a circular economy this holiday season by placing boxes, wrappings and packing material in their recycling bins," said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability. "Republic Services is committed to making recycling easier and helping more Americans make it part of their daily routine. Together, we can give these materials a second life as new products this holiday season."
Follow these tips to be sure you're recycling properly:
- Recycle what you can - Flattened boxes, wrapping paper, paper-only cards (no glitter or foil), paper gift bags (no handles or ribbon), and tissue paper can all be recycled.
- Dispose of trees properly - Check your municipality's guidelines for natural or artificial tree disposal to determine the correct waste cart.
- Organize food waste - Compost leftover food if you have an organics cart. Place cooking oil in a sealed container and take it to a household hazardous waste facility.
- Reuse materials - Save non-recyclables like bubble wrap, ribbons, and bows for your next gifting event.
- Choose simple - Choose non-laminated, glitter-free wrapping paper and gift bags when you're shopping for wrapping supplies to allow the person you gifted to recycle them.
Common holiday items that do not belong in recycling include: bubble wrap, cellophane, holiday ribbons and bows, batteries, clothing and shoes, holiday lights, electronics and foam packaging. All of these items and materials should be placed in a waste container, not recycled.