Most U.S. Adults Think Recycling Paper Products is Easy and Worth It, Making Holidays a Good Time to Start, Reports P+PB Ideas and Tips Help Make Holidays More Eco-Friendly

MCLEAN, Va.--()--In festive news, a majority (66%) of U.S. adult consumers believe that recycling paper is worth it and 60% felt that recycling is easy, according to recent research by the Paper and Packaging Board (P+PB). With the holiday season approaching, P+PB is encouraging consumers to embrace the season and to help the planet by recycling and reusing paper products.

“Our research shows that consumers understand the value of recycling paper. The holidays are a very paper intense season, so we wanted to capture and grow their interest with practical and fun ways to make the holidays more earth friendly,” said Mary Anne Hansan, president, P+PB. “Since paper and paper packaging can be recycled up to seven times and are sourced from trees—a renewable resource, the abundance of paper during the holidays makes it a great time to build better recycling habits for families.”

P+PB research in May 2023 of nearly 2,400 adults 18+ also revealed that very few felt burdened by recycling paper and cardboard. In fact, only 14% reported that it was a “hassle.” In addition, only 14% thought the process of recycling paper as well as paper packaging was confusing, indicating more widespread understanding and acceptance of recycling practices. Even though recycling is more accepted, earlier P+PB studies show that consumers still need help remembering best practices and reminders about what can and cannot be recycled.

Since families and friends gather, share meals, and exchange gifts, the holidays are a great time to encourage even wider adoption of recycling habits. P+PB has a guide, “Celebrate the Holidays Sustainably with Paper,” that includes a list of tips with easy, practical ways to recycle and reuse paper and paper-based products to make the holidays even more sustainable.

Tips for celebrating the holidays sustainably:

  • Turn a shipping box from online delivery orders into holiday recycling bins. Place them strategically around the house to encourage easy recycling.
  • Empty and flatten cardboard gift and shipping boxes before recycling. No need to remove tape or shipping labels.
  • Send guests home with paper containers for the holidays. Paper to-go containers (and other products like paper baking pans and paper cake molds) are all made from a renewable source.
  • Turn cardboard boxes into game boards, a kid’s fort, and more. Shipping appliance boxes can be a better present than the gifts that come inside when you turn them into hideaways or racing cars.
  • Cushion gifts and ornaments that are fragile or being shipped by using festive paper-based filler options like recyclable tissue paper, crinkle paper, or kraft paper.
  • Choose the perfect card. Avoid ones with glitter or made from photo paper; otherwise, paper cards and envelopes are recyclable.
  • Wrap gifts with earth-friendly style. Brown kraft paper or wrapping paper without glitter or foils is recyclable.

Beyond the holidays, understanding which paper items are typically accepted for recycling can transform the seasonal recycling spirit into a year-round habit. Consumers should check local guidelines to confirm as they can vary by location and are frequently updated.

Recyclable items include:

  • Notebooks, catalogs, and phone books
  • Receipts (unless they have thermal coatings)
  • Mail, envelopes (even those with windows), and coupons
  • White and colored paper, printer paper, file folders, and stationery
  • Boxes like pizza boxes and ones for cereal, shoes, laundry detergent, and medicine
  • Juice, egg, and milk cartons
  • Magazines (no need to remove staples)

Paper-based products are made with the planet in mind, as they are created out of a renewable resource—tree fiber and often out of recycled paper products. For example, a recycled pizza box may find new life as a cereal box.

In the U.S., paper companies work with private forest land landowners to grow and maintain forests at a rate nearly double the volume needed to make paper, packaging and boxes. Recycling makes further use of these resources and contributes to a healthier planet.

About the Paper and Packaging Board

The Paper and Packaging Board promotes the use of paper products and paper-based packaging by highlighting how their sustainable nature, the industry’s practices and recycling help contribute to a healthier planet. Forty-seven U.S. manufacturers and importers collectively fund the national marketing campaign,


Shawn Flaherty, 703-554-3609

Release Summary

A majority of U.S. adult consumers think that recycling paper is worth it and easy to do, according to research by the Paper and Packaging Board.


Shawn Flaherty, 703-554-3609