Recycling can be a pain at the best of times and as we consume more as a society we inevitably find our recycling bins overflowing with household waste. Over 50% of UK household waste ends up in the landfill every year. With that taken into account why add old paper bags into the mix as well. Here is our ultimate on how to recycle your old paper bags.
What types of paper bags can be recycled?
Whilst we encourage you to recycle as many paper bags as you can, not all of this wonderful product can be repurposed. More modern paper bags incorporate both paper and plastic into their design, meaning they can’t be recycled in the paper process.
Any purely paper-based bags can obviously be recycled, but do check before you sort. If you are in any way unsure we advise you to try and reuse the bags.
What should I do if the paper bag is damaged or dirty?
Unfortunately with the many items carried in paper bags they can often become soiled. Whilst some contaminants like water and food wastage are not an issue for other forms of recycling, they can seriously impact on the quality of the recycled paper products. Unfortunately, if your bags are close to ruin your best bet is to throw them in with the non-recyclables.
How do I prep the paper bags for recycling?
Not all components of a paper bag can be recycled. If the handle is made from plastic or string, remove it before sorting the recycling. These can be heavily disrupted in the old paper bag recycling process.
If you are unsure try keeping an eye out for the recycling symbols, these are usually a reliable indicator. Additionally, when you are preparing your paper bags for recycling try to make sure they are clean and sorted correctly.
If I cannot recycle them, how should I reuse them?
As we’ve discussed, not all paper bags are recyclable. However, if you are still looking to do your bit for the environment why not reuse old paper bags. They are great if you are looking for a shopping bag for life and also make really packaging for parcels.
If you buy paper bags that have been manufactured with care then rest assured you will be able to find plenty of new uses for them in the future.