Can You Recycle Kleenex Boxes? (And Ways to Reuse Old Boxes)

The average American consumer uses toilet paper and facial towels. And we bet you sometimes worry about proper waste disposal. So, what are your environmentally safe options for Kleenex boxes?

We’ll consider recycling and composting in this blog post. You can also keep reading to discover if Kleenex boxes are biodegradable and compostable. By the end of this piece, you’ll undoubtedly have many ideas about properly disposing of empty Kleenex boxes.

Dive in!

Are Kleenex Boxes Recyclable?

For as long as many of us can recollect, Kleenex boxes have been in existence for many generations. In fact, more than 179 million US citizens consume these facial tissues and soft paper towels.

The consumption is significant enough to raise eyebrows if there aren’t environmentally friendly waste disposal options. Thankfully, Kleenex boxes are recyclable and acceptable in recycling facilities across the country.

They’re lined with a thin plastic film that elicits doubt in some people. Conventionally, recycling two different materials, paper, and plastic will cause contamination. This makes the production of new products a hassle.

We recommend recycling your Kleenex boxes – that’s a surefire way to reduce the strain of our production and consumption on the environment. However, you must separate the plastic window from the cardboard material and place it with other plastics to be recycled.

The empty tissue boxes are suitable for your blue cart or community recycling depot. Inquire at your local recycling center before taking the Kleenex boxes there.

Are Kleenex Boxes Compostable?

Absolutely! Kleenex boxes are compostable and would be a great addition to your compost pile. However, you must prepare the material beforehand – the plastic film won’t break down fast because it’s a non-natural material.

Leaving it attached to the box before composting is a bad idea. Aside from a slower decomposition process, plastic isn’t the friendliest material for the ecosystem. While it decomposes, it releases harmful gases into the environment, and we’re certain this is the last thing you want for your soil and plants.

On the other hand, the boxes will break down fast. Cardboard is a natural resource that fortifies the soil and plants with carbon.

A compost pile needs an appropriate combination of browns and greens. The browns are the dry materials, while the greens are the wet ones. If your compost pile has too many greens, it gets soggy and grows an unwelcome mold. It can also considerably slow down decomposition.

That’s why your compost pile needs Kleenex boxes. Could you not throw them out? Instead, we suggest shredding them into smaller pieces, soaking them in some water, and adding the waste to your compost pile.

Are Kleenex Boxes Biodegradable?

Well, the straight answer is yes, Kleenex boxes are biodegradable. They’re made from paper or cardboard, naturally occurring materials.

They’re also called organic waste, which breaks down under the right conditions. However, it’s essential to note that Kleenex boxes contain a thin layer of plastic that should be disposed of properly.

While biodegradation will occur for the cardboard aspect of the Kleenex box, plastic isn’t nearly as pliable.

As such, it’s not a good idea to throw Kleenex boxes away. Instead, we recommend removing the plastic film first. If it ends up in our landfills, the toxic gases released during its breakdown process will negatively impact the environment.

Microplastics are also by-products of decomposing plastic. And although they’re tiny, the havoc they wreak on the environment is grave. There are microplastics everywhere, including in the food we eat, our water, and the air.

It’s a result of improper plastic disposal. When plastics and microplastics find their way into our water bodies, they poison marine creatures. In some cases, some aquatic animals mistake them for food, consume them, and choke and die because of the resulting blockage in their throats and systems.

Inevitably, plastic that’s not properly disposed of will end up in landfills and water bodies, polluting them till the end of time.

So, don’t abandon your Kleenex boxes to fate. Proper waste disposal is vital for protecting the environment, and items like Kleenex boxes don’t disintegrate overnight.

Instead of relying on natural elements to break it down, we recommend recycling, composting, or making crafty household items out of empty boxes. An average cardboard box requires at least five years for proper decomposition.

But again, you can dispose of a Kleenex box in the trash can, but it’s better for the environment when you separate the plastic film and recycle it.

Can You Throw Away Kleenex Boxes In the Garbage Bin?

Proper waste disposal for all our household items is vital. It’s our way of reducing our carbon footprints and the strain of our daily life on the environment. We have many easily acceptable options – recycling, composting, and upcycling, to name a few.

But again, some items can’t be composted or recycled, making the garbage bin the most suitable option for them. In most cases, they’re biodegradable, so their impact on the environment is minimal while decomposition occurs.

However, when they’re non-biodegradable, they’ll spend a significant period in our landfills, slowly rotting while polluting the environment.

Concerning Kleenex boxes, you shouldn’t throw them in the garbage bin. If you dispose of the empty box without the plastic film on its cover, the cardboard material will break down in five years.

However, it’s not right to litter, even if it’s a biodegradable waste. Because although these items are natural trash, they’re still out of place. If recycling and composting are not feasible, the next option should be the landfill.

But again, it’s best to check well to ensure you aren’t sending items like plastic and other toxic materials to our landfills. If you must throw an article in the garbage bin, it’s also your responsibility to remove unfavorable materials from the environment.

If you leave the plastic film on a Kleenex box, it ends up in our landfill and may not break down until after two decades to five centuries. Unfortunately, this decomposition process facilitates environmental pollution to a significant degree.

As such, if you must throw a Kleenex box in the garbage bin, we recommend removing unfriendly materials like plastic beforehand.

Importance of Recycling and Reusing Kleenex Boxes

Although the effects of our production processes on the environment won’t be corrected by recycling and reusing Kleenex boxes, eco-friendly waste disposal certainly has its benefits. They include:

1. It reduces our paper consumption

Deforestation isn’t friendly for the environment, no matter the claims about planting replacements. For one, we must consider how long it’ll take for a tree to fully mature; it often runs between months to years.

However, we can cut back on our consumption of trees by recycling our Kleenex boxes. We’ll also be reducing our production processes, which often consume a significant amount of renewable and non-renewable energy.

2. It reduces global warming

Global warming is a considerable threat to all life and the ecosystem. Some of our manufacturing processes accelerate this phenomenon, so it’s best to mitigate our impacts on the environment.

Global warming has been noticeable since 1880; the earth’s temperature has increased significantly since then. It’ll certainly continue to rise until we curb our excessive manufacturing processes.

3. It reduces the cost of managing our landfills

The US government spends a massive amount on waste management yearly. That’s because landfills must be taken care of, both for the environment’s sake and our sake.

Items like our empty Kleenex boxes should be disposed of properly, alongside other materials that can be composted, recycled, or upcycled.

Instead of condemning waste products to landfills, we urge you to consider appropriate channels.

Why Are Kleenex Boxes So Common in Dumpsters?

With a market share of 47.1%, there is no doubt at least one in every two households in the USA uses Kleenex products. This translates to more boxes being disposed of; that is why they are so common in dumpsters in the U.S.

What Can You Do with Old Kleenex Boxes?

Knowing what to do with your old Kleenex boxes is vital if you’re an environmentalist. Although most recycling facilities accept Kleenex empty boxes, there are many other fun ways to dispose of them.

Now, you can transform the boxes into materials that add aesthetics or provide functionality in your home. Some of your options include:

1. Garbage can dispensers

Kleenex boxes make excellent garbage can dispensers. So, instead of constantly struggling to extract one garbage bag and often leaving a mess, separate the rollout from the packaging.

Then, place it in the empty Kleenex box and pull out each bag in an organized and neater manner.

2. Artwork

If you have kids in the home, you can turn your old Kleenex boxes into a flat surface for creativity. It can be used for watercolors, painting, drawing, and papier-mache, among many others.

A sharp box cutter is an excellent tool for modifying the Kleenex boxes.

3. Paper Collages

Now, this is art adults can also get involved in. you can cut empty Kleenex boxes into smaller pieces and glue them to a flat surface. This is called paper collaging, and since Kleenex boxes come in different colors and designs, you have the perfect material for an artsy project.

For this craft, you need to gather many designs of Kleenex boxes – the more colors you have, the better. Next, cut them into varying shapes and sizes, but ensure they align creatively when attaching them to the surface.

Here’s a pro tip – you can outline the pattern you want to recreate before applying the adhesive.

4. Toilet paper dispenser

You can also turn your old Kleenex box into a toilet paper dispenser. Instead of throwing it away, we recommend opening the top side of the box and placing a roll of toilet paper inside.

The core is typically rigid and may prevent the toilet roll from sitting neatly in the box, so we recommend removing it with a utility knife. When you’re satisfied with the fitting, pull out the tissue from the slot at the center and set the box in a suitable place in your bathroom.

5. A thrash bin for fashion designers

Kleenex boxes also make aesthetically appealing boxes for trash from your sewing sessions. Instead of throwing those little snips of thread and fabric on the floor in your workroom, we recommend gathering them in an old Kleenex box.

However, you’ll have to remove the top cover to make more room for waste to go in. then empty it when it gets full and reuse it as many times as you desire.

6. Silverware organizers

Yes, Kleenex boxes also make excellent silverware organizers. It’s as simple as cutting open the top to create more room.


Statistics show that one in two Americans use Kleenex products. Since we’ll undoubtedly burn through a fair share yearly, we must raise some consciousness about environmentally safe waste disposal methods for this product.

It’s lined with a plastic layer, so ensure it never ends up in your garbage bin because of the adverse effects plastic has on the ecosystem. We implore you to consider the numerous hacks for throwing away Kleenex boxes and adopt the environmentally sensitive ones going further.

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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.