Are Playing Cards Recyclable?

From homes to schools to offices and even to the corners of the streets, playing cards have become a household name and increasingly popular among all classes of citizens. Playing cards seem to be one of the most common indoor games in the world today. Their popularity owes largely to several factors, among which are handiness and portability associated with them.

Without mincing words, these cards have been with us for a relatively long period. While they help us in many ways and keep us entertained, it is important to look into the possibility of these playing cards are causing problems for our environment in multiple ways.

Due to their frequent use, it may not be out of place to consider what effects these playing cards may have on our environment. Doing this will allow us to make rational decisions about a more sustainable means of using, managing and probably disposing of them.

This reason is why this post considers some salient points about playing cards as it relates to the environment we all live in. We know you can’t wait to get the full gist about the connection between playing cards and the environment. We will not also hold on to the information. So, without much hesitation, let’s slide in and enjoy.

Can You Recycle Playing Cards?

Whether or not you can recycle playing cards is a crucial question to ask at this point because of its frequent use and the potential of turning out to be one of the biggest landfill materials in the United States.

For instance, recent research has shown that two or more types of playing cards can be found in each American home. If you multiply this by the number of homes and offices in each region across the country, you will see why this is an important question.

But then, what’s the true position?

Playing cards can generally be recycled. This is because they are made of paper, and since papers are recyclable materials, they can be recycled. Instead of disposing of them, you can get them gathered in your curbside recycling bin, after which you get them delivered to your local or state recycling station for the recycling process.

Some types of playing cards particularly have the recycling sign drawn on them. For these types and others which do not have the sign, getting them recycled is the best option.

How do you go about the recycling process? The process is quite simple. Once you get your old and used playing cards to the recycling station, it is up to the station to sort the cards out appropriately before recycling. Like every other paper product, recycling playing cards is usually done through technical processes.

According to research, about 250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand) playing cards are printed each day. In most cases, these cards are not printed out of newly manufactured papers. They are printed from recycled papers, among which are old playing cards.

So, when the old playing cards get to the recycling stations, they are shredded, baled, and recycled into other useful paper products. Some of these products include toilet paper, tissues, and playing cards as well.

Since the playing cards manufacturing houses are interested in saving costs during the production, you will be doing them a favor by getting your old playing cards to them for recycling. Recycling these items has also be proved to be one of the effective ways to conserve energy.

Hence, when you have a pile of these playing cards in one corner of your house, you can easily get them to the recycling station. This is better than having them litter your surroundings.

Are Old Antique Playing Cards Worth Money?

Despite being used and old, your playing cards can be worth a fortune. More than often, through the internet, many people describe their old decks of playing cards, demanding to know how much these playing cards are worth. The answer to this question is not far-fetched.

Evaluating the monetary value and worth of an old deck of playing cards is similar to placing a monetary value on any collectible or antique. The precise answer, and the most accurate, is that your old and used playing cards are worth not more than what someone else is ready and willing to pay you for them.

Several individuals, homes, and institutions take up the responsibility of appraising old playing cards and evaluating their monetary worth and value. They collect these objects in large quantities, tell you how much it is worth, pay, and use them for personal purposes.

However, the amount an appraiser is ready and willing to pay for an old deck of playing cards largely depends on some factors. These factors include scarcity, desirability, and condition. To a significant extent, the price of your old cards is determined even by their completeness, that is, whether the deck is complete or not.

Of all the factors mentioned above, desirability is the most important. Your old deck of playing cards can be complete, be in good condition, and scarce, but it is not worth a dime if no one requests it. On the other hand, if your old playing cards are scarce, in good condition, complete, and desirable, they can worth as much as 2 to 3 thousand dollars, particularly when they are cataloged.

Let’s talk about the completeness and condition of the playing cards you are offering for sale. As far as you know, is the deck complete? If your playing cards are the standard 52-card deck, are there 52 playing cards in the deck? Do you have extra cards contained in the deck? Do you have additional jokers? (Additional jokers can increase the value of your playing cards considerably).

Are the playing cards still contained in their old box? Are they still in good shape? Do they seem as good as new, or are they worn, ripped, or bent? Do they emit unpleasant odors, or are they reek of mildew? How about the box? Is it in tatters, or it still looks new? These conditions are important to be put into consideration because if you intend to sell your old deck of playing cards to someone, you need to ensure that they are in good shape and describe them honestly.

Also, the monetary value and worth of an old deck of playing cards depend on its type. Some types of playing cards are more expensive than others. Take, for instance, some playing cards require large resources to produce. They are also carefully designed and decorated. Such playing cards, irrespective of how old and used they are, are worth more than others made with fewer resources.

In all, if you have antique playing cards, you should not be in a haste to discard them in the waste bin. There is still a lot of value you can get from them. What you need are good marketing and negotiating skills.

Can You Put Playing Cards In Recycling Bin?

Your old and used deck of playing cards is very suitable for the recycling bin. Rather than littering your surroundings with a pile of these playing cards, you can easily get rid of them by stacking them in your recycling bin.

As explained in the previous paragraphs of this post, old and used playing cards are recyclable, so you will be doing the local recyclers’ a favor by getting them disposed of in your recycling bin. The local recyclers will fetch them easily and get them to their station for recycling within the shortest period.

While putting them in your recycling bin, you may want to package them and label them accordingly. This will help during the sorting process at the recycling station.

Are There Any Eco-Friendly Playing Cards?

There are various types of cards available in different stores across the world. Whether they pose any risk or threat to the environment remains a bone of contention that several individuals are eager to find answers to.

Like papers, old and used playing cards have no adverse effects on the environment. They are non-toxic and, for that reason, cannot cause harm to both man and his resources. Also, playing cards are free of chemicals. To add to this, playing cards, having been made of paper, are easily biodegradable.

However, some playing cards are often made and designed with some materials. Some of these materials include plastics, boxes, and wrappings. The playing cards are often stacked in these materials.

Some of these materials are dangerous to the health of the environment. Hence, it is recommended that both manufacturers and users of playing cards avoid using playing cards packaged with plastics.

Rather than those packaged with plastics, you can choose to get other types of playing cards like those for which shrink wrapping is used. Those that have small card bands can be chosen as well. These types of playing cards are quite eco-friendly. This is because these materials can easily break down and decompose without any negative effects on the environment.

Hence, when next you go shopping and buy a deck of playing cards for your home or office, make sure the one you are buying is packaged with decomposable materials as cited in the previous paragraphs.

How Do You Dispose Of Old Playing Cards?

When your deck of playing cards is old and worn out, there is just one thing to do to get rid of them without messing up your surroundings with them; get them disposed of properly.

Since these materials are fit for the recycling bin and can be recycled, you can easily dispose of them by getting them to the nearest recycling station. You can as well get them stacked in your recycling bin to be picked up by recyclers.

Regarding the wrappings of these playing cards, due to the environmental harm and threat that come with using these objects, you should dispose of them by sorting them in their respective recycling bin. Those wrappings that can be recycled will be recycled, while those not recyclable can be reused. 


Playing cards may be one of the effective ways to keep your children and friends in a good mood without necessarily engaging them in outdoor events. They are quite handy and for that reason can be taken from one place to another. Thus, you can have fun playing cards wherever and whenever.

Although these objects are not harmful or toxic to the environment, you must dispose of them properly to prevent them from messing up your surroundings. Hence, you have some crucial roles to play to see that you contribute your quota to the proper disposal of these items and their recycling. The best you can do is help save the environment and others’ health by taking proper care of your used and old decks of playing cards.


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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.