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Can all Christmas cards be recycled?

Can all Christmas cards be recycled?

Rumour has it that Christmas cards are becoming passé, and we are sending fewer than ever before. That said, in 2017 the Greetings Card Association estimated that over a billion Christmas cards were sold, so it’s certainly not a fast decline. Designs are more varied and elaborate than ever; some feature glittery embellishments, some even light up and play tinkling Christmas tunes. But what does this mean when it comes to recycling Christmas cards?

Can decorated Christmas cards be recycled?

Glitter embellishments cannot be recycled, so if possible, remove the decorated section of the card first. If it’s a full glitter card, you may still be able to recycle the back part, and of course, the envelope.

Cards with ribbons or other embellishments should be carefully taken apart so that you can recycle the paper part and keep or dispose of the other decorations. Alternatively, you could keep the card and re-use as gift tags next year, or for a children’s Christmas craft project.

Some supermarkets also have dedicated bins for you to bring in your cards, which are then given to a charity for reuse.

Can battery-powered Christmas cards be recycled?

Yes – but you’ll need to remove the battery and speakers or lights first. After removing the electronic parts and any other non-recyclable decorations, you can recycle the paper and the envelope. You should dispose of the battery carefully at a battery recycling point.

Don’t forget to recycle gift tags and wrapping paper too

The same recycling rules apply to gift tags and gift wrap – they’re mostly recyclable if they are free from glitter and decorations. Sticky tape is not recyclable either, so you should try and remove as much as possible before putting the wrapping paper in your recycling bin.

Be eco-conscious when buying Christmas cards

Given so many Christmas cards cannot be recycled in their entirety, it’s good for the planet to buy Christmas cards responsibly by choosing designs that can be easily recycled by their recipients. Similarly, try to avoid metallic wrapping papers as these can have plastic linings that cannot be recycled and will need to be disposed of in your household waste. The same goes for glittery wrapping paper designs – they’ll have to go to landfill.

What about old stamps?

Don’t forget to cut out the used stamps off your Christmas card envelopes – many charities collect them. Take a look here for a list of charities you could donate your old stamps to and help them generate extra funds.

Rabbit is committed to reducing waste and supporting recycling efforts. Contact Rabbit today for more information skip hire, recycling and plant hire. Reach us on 01903 762020 or email