Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being reminded that wrapping paper cannot be collected for recycling this year because of issues with its ability to be recycled at paper mills.
Wrapping paper often has a very high ink content and may contain non-paper additives like glitter and plastics which cannot be recycled. Other paper is very thin and contains few good quality fibres for recycling so is often rejected.
Significant changes to the recycling market in recent years have also seen less paper being exported from the UK, and a drive to recycle closer to home using UK paper mills that require higher quality materials to produce a higher quality product.
This means that the council cannot collect wrapping paper as recyclable waste and it should be placed into black household waste bins. Even wrapping paper that might say “recyclable” on the label can’t actually be recycled, unless it is brown. Brown paper can be recycled if placed with cardboard into the blue recycling bags and any sticky tape or other decorations are removed first.
Councillor David Wood, joint cabinet member for Climate Emergency and Neighbourhood Services, said: “Wrapping paper often has a high ink content, contains plastics such as glitter and its fibre quality is low. It’s good for the environment that more of our recycling is done in the UK, but this means that the paper we send to paper mills has to be of a higher quality. Therefore we are unfortunately no longer able to accept wrapping paper in our recycling collections.
“Anyone who hasn’t wrapped their Christmas gifts yet could consider brown paper, which we can collect for recycling alongside cardboard, or use reusable bags and boxes.”
There will be no recycling or rubbish collections on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, December 28 or New Year’s Day. Garden waste collections will pause from December 7 to January 15 inclusive. Residents can check the website for full information.
The council’s recycling centres will close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, December 27 and New Year’s Day.