Wrapping Paper Recycling by County

recycling wrapping paper

Having heard conflicting advice from different areas about whether wrapping paper could be recycled or not, we decided to check each county website in turn. It would appear that in the majority of cases, wrapping paper is accepted for recycling as long as it is free of glitter and plastic, and doesn’t spring back when you scrunch it. Tape and ribbon should also be removed!

County Wrapping Paper
Bucks Not all wrapping paper can be recycled or composted. Some wrapping paper contains metal content plus there is the issue of sticky tape, glitter and foil back paper. If it is just paper then it can be recycled. Wrapping paper made out of paper will be white in the middle when torn.

Glitter covered and non-paper gift wraps made from foil-based paper that spring back when scrunched cannot be recycled. Put these in your rubbish bin.


Cambridgeshire Wrapping paper – only pure wrapping paper can be recycled. Wrapping paper that includes foil and plastic is not accepted and should be put in your general waste bin


Cornwall Can’t find any information.
Cumbria No specific information but a press article saying that paper and cards can be recycled.
Derbyshire Christmas cards, gift tags and wrapping paper that include glitter, bows, musical features, ribbons or foil cannot be recycled as these materials contaminate the recycling. Most of our local district or borough councils can accept plain cards or wrapping paper – please check in your area.


Devon Please note only non glittery and non metallic wrapping paper can be recycled.
Dorset Can’t find any information.
East Sussex Can’t find specific information.
Essex Wrapping paper can only be recycled if it passes the scrunch test – scrunch the wrapping paper and if it does not spring back it can be recycled. Foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot be recycled and needs to go in the general waste.


Gloucestershire No specific information.
Hampshire Wrapping paper is not suitable for recycling because it does not always contain much paper and is often layered with foil and plastic which cannot be recycled. Wrapping paper can be disposed of in your household waste bin.


Herefordshifre No shiny wrapping paper.
Hertfordshire You can recycle plain wrapping paper at your local household waste recycling centre in the cardboard container.

Put foil based or glittery paper in your household rubbish bin.


Kent Can’t find any information.
Lancashire Can’t find any information.
Lincolnshire “Any wrapping paper without glitter, foil or a shiny coating can be placed in your recycling – so long as all bows, sellotape and ribbons are removed.

“Shiny metallic and glitter wrapping paper is not recyclable and therefore needs to go in your general waste.


Norfolk Yes, paper should go into the cardboard container, but shiny or foil-type wrapping paper should go into the non-recyclables container.


North Yorkshire You can take wrapping paper, free of charge, to all household waste recycling centres.

If your wrapping paper is unused you can take it for reuse at all site. If it is unusable it can be placed in the waste for energy recovery skip at all our sites. Used wrapping paper cannot be recycled at our household waste recycling centres.


Northamptonshire No information.
Northumberland No information.
Nottinghamshire No information.
Oxfordshire You can recycle traditional wrapping paper or brown paper but make sure you remove any tape first. You could also compost tissue or crepe paper.

Please note that foil glitter or laminated wrapping paper cannot be recycled this can be disposed of in your normal household waste collection or in the landfill bin at any waste recycling centre.



Shropshire Most types of wrapping paper can be included with your paper recycling collection.  The only type they don’t accept at the paper mill is the ‘plasticy’ types.  A top tip to check if paper is recyclable is to try the ‘tear test’ – if you cannot tear it it is probably laminated/plasticised and cannot be recycled.  


Somerset Wrapping paper: paper wrap can be put in with cardboard in your kerbside recycling (remove plastic bows and fabric ribbons first); plastic or metallic wrap must be discarded into your rubbish. If you wrapped gifts in brown paper packaging tied up with string – one of our favourite things – these can both be reused.



Staffordshire No information.
Suffolk All wrapping paper can be recycled (apart from ‘foil effect’) in the kerbside recycling bin or at any of the Suffolk Household Waste Recycling Centres in the paper container.


Surrey Glitter covered and non-paper gift wraps made from foil-based paper that spring back when scrunched cannot be recycled. Put these in your general rubbish bin.


Warwickshire No information.
West Sussex Paper based wrapping paper can be put in your recycling bin at home. Please remove any bows, ribbons and excess sellotape before putting the paper in your recycling bin.


Foil and metallic wrapping paper that has a plastic feel to it CANNOT be recycled due to the plastic coating on it.


Wiltshire If you can scrunch your used wrapping paper up and it doesn’t bounce back then this can be recycled in your blue lidded bin. Foil wrapping paper cannot be recycled


Worcestershire No information.


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