Are Candy Wrappers Recyclable? (And Are They Biodegradable?)

Candy is a great treat for everyone. Of course, the older you get, the less you have to consume because of your health. However, we all still deserve the occasional candy treats.

Now, take children, for example; they consume an awful lot of candy. It’s terrible for their teeth, but it makes them happy, so we let them have some occasionally. However, when Halloween comes, we have little to no control over the amount of candy they consume.

If you have kids in your house or are a bit of a sweet tooth yourself, you would be looking at a substantial amount of candy wrappers at the end of the day. Even more so, at Halloween, you would have a ton of candy wrappers to dispose of.

So how do you go about it in a manner that is environmentally friendly and conscious? In this blog post, we desire to provide you with ways to dispose of your candy wrappers without endangering your environment. Enjoy!

Can You Recycle Candy Wrappers?

It’s pretty unfortunate that these tasty balls that bring us joy and satisfaction come wrapped in wrappers that can potentially harm our environment if we don’t dispose of them properly.

Candy wrappers are made from a mixture of materials. We have nylon materials, which are essentially made from plastic, and aluminum materials. These materials can be recycled individually, but recycling them is way more complicated because they have been combined.

Typically, recycling is easier when the materials to be recycled are not combined with other materials. For instance, it is pretty easy to recycle plastic bottles, polycarbonate, untreated wood and so on because they are individual materials. They stand on their own, so manufacturers can use them to make similar items.

You cannot recycle candy wrappers at your local recycling center. However, there’s good news. You can take these wrappers to recycling companies that specialize in recycling materials that other companies avoid.

A good example is TerraCycle. TerraCycle would gladly recycle your useless candy wrappers, but for a small fee. Here’s what you can do. You can organize special days for yourself and members of your community to gather materials like candy wrappers and have them delivered to a company like TerraCycle.

Of course, you would have to pay a substantial fee, but it is something that everyone can chip in to pay for. TerraCycle generally sends out a box for these materials, and you make your payments by the box.

It’s a super safe and easy way to protect your environment. Now, you don’t have to cut down on candy unless, of course, you’re trying to watch your weight or health because there’s a safe way for you to recycle your candy wrappers.

Are Candy Wrappers Biodegradable?

The short answer is No. Candy wrappers are not biodegradable. Now, they would be if it was possible for microorganisms to break them down, but it isn’t. Microorganisms act on biodegradable materials and break them into very tiny pieces that eventually meld into the environment.

However, for candy wrappers, it’s impossible. Candy wrappers and generally other materials made from plastic are usually non-biodegradable. They simply cannot be broken down by microorganisms.

Even when they get broken down, usually due to weathering, they never really go away. They just get broken into smaller pieces and remain in the environment. The worst part is that it usually takes a couple of decades, as in the case of candy wrappers.

Now, you may wonder why materials as small and delicate as candy wrappers pose much harm to the environment. It’s because of the materials they are made from.

It gets even sadder because, in the process of decomposition, candy wrappers release toxic gases into the atmosphere and pollute the soil too. You may be wondering if these gases are present when you tear open a piece of candy.

They aren’t. The wrappers don’t release these gases until they begin the decomposition process. So now, failure to dispose of candy wrappers properly takes up space in our landfills and leads to the release of toxic chemicals.

When next you buy that packet or candy, be sure to consider disposing of the wrappers the proper way!

Are Candy Wrappers Toxic?

Certainly, candy wrappers are toxic, but you needn’t worry about the toxicity affecting you until you suck on the wrappers. Ordinarily, they are designed to protect the candy from exposure, insects and contamination, so they are pretty safe.

However, you activate the toxic part of it when you suck on the wrappers. The wrappers are a mixture of nylon and aluminum. They have also been treated and colored, so it is possible that when you suck on the wrappers, you suck off some of the colorings, and possibly some of the aluminum on them.

Of course, as adults, we don’t have to worry about sucking on candy wrappers because apparently, we know better. But we can’t say the same about kids.

Kids may try to suck out some of the remaining candy on the wrappers, especially when you ration the amount of candy they consume. It is up to us as adults to educate them and let them know why they should never suck on candy wrappers.

Are Candy Wrappers Worth Anything?

It is very possible that when you unwrap your candy, the nylon breaks. Even if it doesn’t break, it often gets wrinkled, making it difficult for you to sell them.

So unless you are toting around a couple of vintage or antique candy wrappers, your chances of selling your candy wrappers are very slim.

How Long Does it Take For Candy Wrappers to Decompose?

Candy wrappers are made from plastic and aluminum, and both materials are typically known for taking a substantial amount of time to decompose. They certainly cannot be broken down by microorganisms, so they have to rely on weather and time to help break them down into smaller bits.

Even when they are broken into smaller pieces, they never really disintegrate entirely. For candy wrappers, it is estimated that they take about 10 to 20 years to decompose. We bet you are in shock that materials as small as candy wrappers are can take as many as ten to twenty years to decompose finally. It is indeed shocking.

Now that you know how long candy wrappers would be at the landfills before they finally decompose, we hope you would make more environmentally positive efforts when you have to dispose of your next batch of candy wrappers.

What Can You Do With Candy Wrappers?

If you love crafty projects, then you are in for a ride! Of course, recycling is a great option; however, if there is no way to gain access to TerraCycle, you can always use the repurposing tips we have for you.

We promise that you will have fun trying these out; they are great for challenging your creative side. If you have kids around, be sure to engage them too. You would all have fun with these tips. Enjoy!

1. Candy Purses

This hack is a little bit more complicated than the regular ones because you would be adding some materials that would serve as padding for the purse. You can use a light layer of foam, cardboard or fabrics you don’t need anymore.

You would need a zipper, a sewing machine or a threaded needle, your padding materials, and a relatively large candy wrapper for this craft. You can hand-sew all the pieces together or use your sewing machine, go with whichever one works for you.

2. Candy Wrapper Bracelets

This is a fun and artsy project you can engage your kids in. Encourage them to save their candy wrappers because you have a nifty little project for them, and watch how excited they will get.

You would need a glue gun, beading thread and some stoppers. They would have to roll the wrappers into even balls, glue them in place and connect them using the beading thread. You can opt to tie the thread together or use some stoppers to hold them in place.

3. Candy Wrapper Hairpins

Did you know that you can fashion cute little hairpins from your candy wrappers? If you didn’t know, well, now you do. You can cut them into the shapes you like and attach them to basic hairpins using a glue gun or soldering iron.

They make great fashion accessories for little girls, and the best part is that you can also gift them to your nieces and friends’ children. But, of course, nothing stops you from wearing them on your head, too, if you are so inclined.

4. Cute Headbands

Little girls would love this particular tip. It means that they get to have access to multiple headbands because they would be making them themselves. The best part is that they are pretty easy to work with.

You can assist them in fashioning the candy wrappers into cute little shapes like flowers, circles, heart shapes, etc. For this craft, you can make the bands yourself if you are crafty. However, if you aren’t, you can just stop at the supermarket and get a pack of simple headbands.

After cutting the bands into different shapes and sizes, you can attach them to the headbands using a glue gun. This is a super creative hack that you will certainly enjoy working on.

5. Christmas Ornaments

Candy wrappers make great Christmas ornaments, and the best part is they are straightforward to make. They are also quite colorful, so it adds to the aesthetics of the tree. It also helps that most candy wrappers have a mix of aluminum in them, making it easy to roll them into balls and make them stay balled up.

6. Padding for Gift Boxes

Here’s a great way to repurpose your candy wrappers. Most gift boxes now come with paddings in them. These paddings are for both aesthetics and to protect the gift that is being packaged. For instance, gifting Easter eggs would require some padding, so the eggs don’t rub against each other and break.

Well, if you are wondering how you can turn your candy wrappers into paddings for gift boxes, here’s how. Of course, it would help if you had a pair of scissors and a box to collect the pieces of the wrappers. Simply snip the candy wrappers into slim pieces, about an inch long or whatever length you desire, and you have yourself the perfect padding.


We certainly cannot refrain from eating our favorite candies because the wrappers are bad for the environment. However, what we can do is find environmentally safe ways to dispose of the wrappers. You can opt for recycling when you have access to a recycling company willing to take on the wrappers or use one of the fantastic craft ideas we have provided you.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.