Business

To Recycle or To Compost Tissue Paper?

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The majority of the offered tissue paper on the market (including a favorite tissue provider) is branded “recyclable.” But what exactly does this imply?

How should you deal with the tissue paper in gift bags or delivery boxes that you or your customers receive?

Is it OK to recycle tissue paper?

As with nearly other recycling queries, the answer is “it depends” and “follow the guidelines established by your local recycler.”

Tissue paper, like all paper, is technically recyclable if it is devoid of impurities like foil and glitter. It is repulpable and may be recycled into another type of paper.

But to accept any category of materials for recycling, a municipality or waste management provider must have the infrastructure to sort the material as well as viable markets to sell into.

Tissue paper is low grade, whether it is virgin tissue paper or 100 percent recycled tissue paper, as ours is. As a result, it is not always simple for recyclers or MRFs (materials recovery facilities) to find consumers prepared to pay for it. Furthermore, it is a very thin and fragile material. Depending on their sorting equipment and methods, some recyclers struggle to separate the material effectively.

Because of these setbacks, some recyclers are unable to take wrapping tissue and normal thin tissue, even as these products are deemed and tagged “recyclable.”

The good news? Tissue paper is accepted at many commercial compost sites and maybe composted at home as long as it is devoid of foil and glitter. Unadorned tissue paper, in fact, can be a beneficial addition to a compost pile since it absorbs excess moisture produced by food waste and bioplastics.

Do You Compost Your Tissue Paper? Learn to Avoid Common Contaminants!

In case your local municipality does not accept tissue paper for recycling, you can still keep the waste out of the landfills by turning to the next best alternative—composting. However, before composting tissue paper, make sure it has no glitter, foil, or glossy coating! This regulation applies to both recycling and composting, but we feel it is even more important for composting.

Suppose your tissue paper contains any of these pollutants. In that case, they will be screened out of the composting line, or far more probable, and much more problematically, they will wind up in the final compost, which will subsequently end up in the land to which the compost is added.

This is a serious environmental risk since it introduces microplastics and other synthetics into our soils. It also decreases the production of your local composting company, making it impossible for them to sell their product at the price required to stay afloat.

Furthermore, we usually advise against composting tissue with full coverage printing. Please recycle it if possible! If you are unable to do so, we recommend that you dispose of it at a landfill.

While flood coat printed tissue paper may not contain microplastics and may even be approved for composting by a certifying organization, the (often hazardous) pigments wind up in the compost and, eventually, in our soils.

We highly advise eCommerce companies who wish to use tissue in their packaging to avoid using coated or colored tissue paper and any tissue paper that contains foil, toner inks, glitter, or other components. 

Customers may then recycle your tissue paper when it is practical in their area, or they can properly compost the tissue when necessary.

How to Provide End-of-Life Tissue Guidance to Your Customers

If you want to use tissue paper in your eCommerce packaging strategy, avoid broad statements like “our tissue paper is 100 percent recyclable” in lieu of “Recyclable, verify with your local facilities. If tissue recycling is not accessible in your region, compost.”

And don’t forget to encourage your consumers to reuse their tissue paper first! For crafts, wrapping linens or other domestic items, or giving.

Identifying the Most Eco-Friendly Tissue Paper Alternatives

If the end of life of tissue is determined more by where someone lives than by the tissue itself, should environmentally conscious customers or companies lookout for anything in particular while looking for the most eco-friendly tissue paper possible?

YES! Look out for tissue that is 100 percent recycled and has as little post-consumer waste as possible. Be sure that the tissue contains no foil, glitter, or other synthetic additives. When it comes to custom tissue paper, avoid digitally printed options with toner ink; instead, use water or soy-based inks and flexographic or offset printing technologies.

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