Shiny metallic or laminated wrapping paper (which contains a plastic membrane) can’t go in the recycling bin. If in doubt, test it out with the ‘scrunch test’ - if you literally scrunch the paper in your hand and it does not stay in a ball, it can't be put into the recycling.
Glittered or textured varieties of wrapping paper or wrapping bags can’t go in the recycling bin either. Glitter can't be processed in recycling plants as it clogs up the equipment and stops everything working. Wall paper or painted paper, like kids' paintings, can be used as wrapping paper, but can't be recycled.
Brown paper, although can be recycled, should be recycled with card instead of paper as it causes brown flecks in recycled paper.
Newspapers, magazines & brochures are recyclable and can be used as wrapping paper.
Remove ribbons, bows, Sellotape and other adornments before recycling wrapping paper.
Even so, some wrapping paper may be very thin and contain very few good quality fibres, hence recycled paper mills may not accept it. It is best to check with your local authority if they accept wrapping paper in recycling bins, recycling centres or not at all.
For close friends and family, reusable alternatives like the same cloth bags or fabric cuts can be reused every year.
“Swap Glitter for Sparkle This Christmas!” (Recycle for London, 2019)
“Wrapping Paper | Recycle for Scotland” (Recycleforscotland.com, 2016)
“WRAPPING PAPER | Recycle for Wales” (Recycleforwales.org.uk, 2019)
“Wrapping Paper | Recycle Now” (Recyclenow.com, 2019)
“Paper” (Recyclenow.com, 2019)