Are Old Greeting Cards Recyclable? (And 3 Ways to Reuse)

In celebrating people, greeting cards have come a long way. Greeting cards are almost everywhere you go. You would find them in offices, at home, at the hospital, in church, and many more places where people exist.

The significance of greeting cards in today’s world is so great that it leaves one in awe. There is probably no annual occasion that comes and goes without greeting cards accompanying it.

As great as greeting cards are, there is one question that we often leave out of the scene. And that is what happens to the greeting cards after the celebration is over? Of course, greeting cards are only relevant for the time being.

If you consider this with the fact that there are as many greeting cards as Americans in America, you would understand. Due to this, we have to determine how to handle these greeting cards.

If you are conversant with recent environmental concerns, your first question would be if we can recycle the greeting cards. Well, in this post, you will get answers to that. You will also get answers to many relevant questions and deal with all the greeting cards around you. Lastly, we will take you through the different creative things you will do with the greeting cards.

If you are ready for this, we are ready too. Fasten your curiosity belt; let’s take you to our world of wonders.

Can You Recycle Greeting Cards?

No one thinks about recycling greeting cards when they receive them. What fills their mind at that moment is the joy of the event they are celebrating. And the truth is, this might go on for a few weeks.

But after some time, the once gorgeous greeting cards begin to lose their significance. They first lose their relevance, and then they become waste in the home and offices.

This is the point where getting rid of the greeting cards become a daily thought. And one of the frequent suggestions is whether you can recycle the greeting cards.

If you are already at this stage, then stay close; you will learn what to do with them.

Yes, you can recycle greeting cards; that looks like the greatest news you are hoping to hear today. Let’s explain why this is so.

If you have handled greeting cards before, you will discover that they are almost paper materials. Except for a few greeting cards that are a combination of paper and polythene materials, the rest is purely from paper.

The fact that greeting cards come from paper makes them recyclable. So, after the much-anticipated celebration and greetings, you shouldn’t worry about the greeting cards.

All you have to do is gather them for recycling. How do you do this, though?

First of all, you have to sort all your greeting cards according to their materials. You would recall that not all of the greeting cards are paper materials. Some have some thin lining of plastics. You wouldn’t want to put these types of greeting cards with purely paper greeting cards.

Another thing to do is to look for are pins or design materials that are not from paper. You can remove the pins and other design materials.

Once you have identified the purely paper greeting cards, you can put them in a paper bag. You should put the ones that are not purely paper materials in a separate paper bag and mark them.

After this, you can call your local recycling center if they have picked up services for recyclables. If they do, you only have to put the packaged greeting cards where they can easily get it. Ensure that there is no obstruction to the location of your recyclables.

If your local recycling center does not have a pickup service, then you might have to drive to drop it at the collection center.

This way, you have already disposed of your non-relevant greeting cards. What is next is to relax and wait for the next celebration. Bask in the joy of the moment and, after some time, make preparations to recycle them.

Can You Recycle Cards With Glitter?

Throughout history, there is this belief that the level of your happiness towards someone is obvious in your greetings to them. There is a big difference between greeting people with a smile and doing the same with a wrinkled face.

Similarly, in communicating greetings through other means, there is a lot to how our greeting instrument looks. Many designers particularly avoid dull colors.

For greeting cards, to brighten the design, many manufacturers have added glitters. These glitters bring out the design in the greeting cards and make them shine always.

And to be honest, these kinds of greeting cards look appealing to the eyes. But the problem is in their effect on the environment. Unlike the purely paper greeting cards, these are difficult to recycle.

The reason is due to the nylon foil and glitter present on these greeting cards. This makes it difficult for recyclers to put these cards directly in the recycling bin.

So, for you, you shouldn’t put it in your recycling bin. For these kinds of greeting cards, they belong to the waste bin. Putting them in the recycling bin is like wasting your time and creating extra work for the recyclers. After all, the greeting cards with glitter will end up in the landfill.

Can I Put Christmas Cards in My Recycling Bin?

Christmas is one of the top events where we have a flood of greeting cards from family, friends, and well-wishers. Of course, this is great until the celebration is over, and another anniversary is imminent. The Christmas cards then become something you need to dispose of.

If you have a lot of Christmas cards you are thinking about recycling, you can do so. But there are some things you need to understand.

You can only put Christmas cards in your recycling bin if they are entirely paper materials. This is very important for you to understand. If you have Christmas cards lined with a different material other than paper, you should stay clear of recycling them.

Hence, all Christmas cards with materials such as glitter, pins, plastic lining, or glue are not fit for the recycling bin.

Let’s explain why this is the case.

In recycling Christmas cards, recyclers would have first to break down the paper in water. For papers, doing this is quite easy. But for other materials, water cannot break them down. For instance, no matter how long plastic materials stay in the water, it won’t break down.

Hence, it is better to remove all the materials that would break down in the water. These include your greeting cards with glitters, plastic lining, glue, and the others.  Putting these materials in your recycling bin means you intend to contaminate the recycling process. So, for the sake of having a smooth recycling process, remove Christmas cards that aren’t entirely paper materials from the recycling bin.

Is It Okay To Throw Away Greeting Cards?

Now, let’s face it. We hardly see the value of anything once they have lost their relevance. For greeting cards, once the ceremony is over, they lose their relevance. And, throwing them away seems like the easiest thing. Well, you are not wrong, but there are better ways to do this.

If you badly want to get rid of your greeting cards, you can package them and recycle them. It doesn’t entirely follow for you to throw away paper materials that you can recycle.

However, as we have said, if your greeting cards are not entirely paper materials, you can throw them away. But in doing this too, you should endure that you dispose of them properly. Always ensure that you package them and throw them in the garbage to end in the landfill.

But then, why do you even have to throw away your greeting cards? There are many things you can make of the old greeting cards. All you have to do is deploy your creativity. If you want to know what you can do with these materials, look below.

3 Easy Ways To Reuse Old Greeting Cards

Now that the celebration has ended, you have your old greeting cards staring at you. You may be considering throwing them away, but there is more to do. You can create them in different things. Learn how to create new things from your old greeting cards.

1. Make Scrapbooks

Making scrapbooks from old greeting cards seems like the easiest thing to do. You would recall that greeting cards are paper materials. What you have to do is quite simple.

Get scissors and cut out the plain part of the old greeting cards. The shapes to cut them into will depend on your preference. After this, you can get a small transparent jar. Put the cards on your office table. When you need to put down an address or number over the phone, you can reach for the scrapbooks.

2. Make Tags

Still relying on the fact that greeting cards are paper, you can cut them out and make tags. This way, you can save money on buying tags for gifts and special occasions.

You can cut them into different shapes. For them to look very bright, get some paint and add some color. Always ensure your colors are contrasting but cool.

With these tags made from greeting cards, you can attach them to gifts. You can also use them to indicate the status of things. For instance, you can put them on your door informing visitors that you can’t attend to them presently.

3. Make Decorations

You can deploy your crafts to make decorations with your old greeting cards. For instance, you can use it to design your Christmas tree or for other events.

What you need are glue, a pair of scissors, and stings for suspending the design. If you want to be very decorative, you can add color paints to the list of things you need.

First, you can cut your designs into any shape you desire. The five-star shape will look good for decoration. Other shapes are also cool. Once you have cut them, use your glue to attach the strings to them. Then you can begin to paint. Paint them in contrasting but beautiful colors. After all these, you can then suspend the other end of the string over high places so that your design dangles.

With this, you have made magic with your greeting cards.


Greeting cards are great for everyone. They signify that there are still people out there who care about us. But when these cards have lost their relevance, we must find something to do about them. As you have seen, you can decorate or recycle them.

Whatever thing you choose to do with your cards, don’t forget to be environmentally conscious.


Share on:

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.