Is Brown Paper Recyclable?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: October 31, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Yes, brown or kraft paper is recyclable! You can recycle kraft paper up to 7 times, and we can recycle the recycled paper as well or it can be used for compost.

We usually see kraft paper in our homes from wrapping food like brown paper bag lunches to wrapping presents on birthdays and holidays. 

Brown paper has many uses in our homes, but don’t let it stop there!

In this article, I’m going to cover other materials that can be recycled and how you should recycle them.

Does brown paper go in paper recycling?

When asking “Is brown paper is recyclable?” we also need to know where it goes. Your recycling in your home should be sorted, usually into plastics and a paper bin.

Any brown paper that you have will go into the paper bin as long as it’s not soiled. 

How do you know if your brown paper is soiled?

Some examples of how your paper can be soiled are:

  • Food Waste
  • Dirt and Grime
  • Oil or Grease

If the brown paper looks like there is something else on it besides tape, it is probably soiled. 

If it is just ripped or torn up into large pieces, you can still recycle it!

What can you do with soiled brown paper?

The best thing you can do with soiled brown paper is to try and use it in another way. 

If you can cut off the soiled parts of the paper and recycle the acceptable rest.

You should always try to reuse before you recycle either way. 

If you do this, then it lessens the risk of it going to a landfill before it needs to.

How do you recycle brown paper?

You can recycle any brown paper that you have in any recycling bin that is meant for paper. 

You should sort your recycling at home, and most businesses will have multiple bins outside that are labeled.

Is brown paper biodegradable?

Yes, brown paper is biodegradable! Brown paper is a virgin type of material meaning that the pulp from wood makes brown paper.

It is not altered again, so you get the brown paper in its first use if it isn’t recycled brown paper. 

You can get kraft paper that is bleached white, which is recyclable but not biodegradable. 

What kind of paper Cannot be recycled?

Any paper that has a coating on it, or that is used for food and is soiled, cannot be recycled. 

This includes things like wax paper, parchment paper, and greasy paper.

You also cannot recycle any shredded paper. 

Shredded paper is been cut up too small and runs the risk of jamming machines.

Also, the fibers in shredded paper are now too small, so they can’t be made into other paper materials.

More examples of paper that cannot be recycled are:

  • Receipts
  • Wax Paper
  • Parchment Paper
  • Butcher Paper
  • Photographs
  • Napkins and Paper Towels
  • Coffee Cups and most Cartons for liquids.

To learn more about recycling, check out the link here!

What kind of paper can be recycled?

Any paper that doesn’t have any kind of coating on it and that is not soiled or dirty in any way can be recycled. 

This includes any paper with writing on it or small amounts of tape that are acceptable as well.

Here are some examples of paper that can be recycled:

  • Newspaper.
  • Envelopes if they do not have plastic on the inside.
  • Cardboard boxes.
  • Magazines

Can you recycle colored paper?

Yes, you can recycle colored paper! Colored paper can be recycled as long as it follows the same guidelines are brown paper: It cannot be soiled, dirty, or have any food waste on it.

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