Can You Recycle Wax Paper? (And Ways to Reuse Old Wax Paper)

There are many great things we use at home. One of them is wax papers. They are suitable for many purposes in the kitchen and elsewhere.

But, beyond this, we need to consider their environmental effect. This article considers everything about the environmental impact of the waxed papers. It also touches on the different things you can do with your waxed papers. So, are you ready? Dive in!

Is Wax Paper Recyclable?

Recycling things in our homes and offices has come in very handy for us these days. It is one of the best ways to keep the environment safe for all of us.

You can recycle many things, but the waxed paper doesn’t appear to be one of them. For many people, this isn’t comforting. Especially when you consider how frequently we use waxed papers in our homes. But the truth is that it doesn’t go into the recycling machine.

Just like you, loads of people desire to know why this is so. We have recognized this, and we have explained why it seems impossible to recycle the waxed paper below. Here is what you need to know.

Waxed Papers Are Often Garbage Materials

One of the reasons we don’t get to recycle waxed papers is because they are often garbage materials. It comes merely handy for us to finish using waxed papers and toss them in the garbage. Many of us don’t ever think of the need to put them aside for recycling, even if it is possible to recycle them. So, we send a lot of waxed papers to the landfills instead of recycling centers.

But then, is this the exact reason we don’t recycle waxed papers. Or is it merely a contributory factor? Well, there is more to waxed paper not being recycled than the fact that we often throw them in the garbage.

We have also explained the other reasons below.

Waxed Papers Are Difficult to Recycle

Let’s get straight to the point; waxed papers are quite hard or even impossible to recycle. If you have held a waxed paper in your hands, you would have noticed some things. One such is that it is not like your regular paper towel or toilet paper.

Due to what the waxed papers would be used for, manufacturers coat them with wax. Yeah, that’s where it got the name from; waxed papers.

Because of this, it isn’t easy to recycle. True, it is paper materials, and paper materials should be easy to recycle, but this is not the case with waxed paper.

Here is the thing, to recycle papers, you have first to allow it to dissolve in water.

For other papers, this is relatively easy. The water would break them down quite quickly. However, for waxed papers, this is not the case. Recall that manufacturers have coated the paper with wax, so it is difficult for water to penetrate or dissolve it.

If water does not dissolve the waxed paper, there is no way recycling companies would be able to make new products.

Again, it seems impossible to recycle when you consider what we generally use wax papers for. For many people, wax papers come in very handy in the kitchen. The implication of this is that we use them more to wipe grease or oil and many other kitchen liquids.

In turn, this makes it difficult to recycle because of the oil or grease. You should know that grease and water don’t mix. As such, recycling centers always have problems with breaking the papers down to make other materials.

So, there you have it. Recycling waxed papers are not possible. At least, not yet.

There seems to be only one thing to do until there is a way to deal with waxed paper. Always reduce the use of your waxed papers in the kitchen or anywhere else. This would help you to save the environment.

Is Glossy Paper Recyclable?

People have always asked the question of whether glossy papers are recyclable. And many have not gotten a satisfactory answer. Glossy papers come in different forms. So, it is difficult to conclude whether it is recyclable. However, if the quest for the answer about recycling glossy papers is what leads you here, congratulate yourself.

Here is a way to find out.

If you have dealt with glossy papers, you would have discovered that they are not all the same. There are some that you can easily tear, while there are others that prove difficult to tear.  The ones that prove difficult to tear is probably made with plastic materials. Yes, manufacturers often coat some glossy papers with tiny plastic materials.  This is to make it resistant to water.

Now, here is where the issue comes in. For the recycling companies to recycle papers, they would first have to break the papers in water. However, because of the plastic coating in some glossy papers, this is impossible. This makes it difficult to recycle this type of glossy paper.

For the other ones not coated with plastic materials, recycling is as easy as anything else. This is the type that recycling companies are always eager to collect for recycling. If you are using this type of glossy paper, then you can start saving them up for recycling.

However, there is one more thing to consider. Sometimes, the determinant for recycling may be what you used the glossy papers for. This could go a long way to determine whether your glossy paper would eventually get recycled, or they would end up in the landfills.

If you have used your glossy papers to clean up oil, grease, paint, or other chemicals, don’t bother storing up for recycling. This is because they would contaminate other recyclables. And manufacturers won’t bother recycling them.

Besides, oil, grease, paint, and some chemicals don’t mix well with water. Hence, in dissolving the papers with water, which is a necessary recycling process, they stain other materials.

So, as you have seen, besides having a glossy paper that can easily tear, your use of it also matters.

The best thing to do if you plan on recycling your glossy paper is to be mindful of what you use them for. You can even separate the stained ones from the other used materials. This would help the recycling center and hasten the process of recycling.

Is Waxed Paper Biodegradable?

The good thing about wax paper is that they are biodegradable. Although they contain wax, this does not prevent them from eventually breaking down. They are not like plastic materials that take hundreds of years to breakdown.

For waxed paper, they may take between two and weeks to begin the process of naturally breaking down. This makes waxed papers one of the best biodegradable paper materials around.

Is Waxed Paper Compostable?

If you don’t want to dispose of your waxed material because of environmental concerns, you can compost it. That is an excellent part of waxed papers.

However, you must be mindful of the materials you used in waxing the paper. If you have petroleum products, then you cannot compost the waxed papers. This is because petroleum wax is not natural and would only contaminate your compost bin.

There is another wax material that is suitable for your compost bin. If manufacturers have coated your paper with paraffin or soybeans wax, then there’s no problem. These materials are natural and would eventually breakdown in your compost bin. The best part is that they won’t contaminate the bin or harm your plants.

So, it is always good to confirm the kind of wax used in coating your waxed papers. This would help you to know if you can use them in the compost bin. If you are not sure, you can check the packaging materials for details or ask the seller for more information.

Is Waxed Paper Reusable?

Waxed papers fall into the category of materials that you can always use again. And this is the reason many people prefer it.

To use it again, you only need to wash it. However, you must be careful while cleaning it. This is to avoid tearing it. All you need is water and soap.

Wax papers are not the kind you put in the washing machine. Just wash and rinse gently, and that’s all. Please, do not rinse with hot water. If you must use water, use only slightly warm water. This is to avoid melting the waxed paper.

If you carefully wash it, then you can always reuse it.

How Long Does Wax Paper Take to Decompose?

We recognize that the wax will prevent the waxed paper’s rapid decomposing, but not for a long time. On averages, the waxed paper takes up to 1 month before beginning to decompose. This means the total breaking down may take up to two months or three months.

So, relax. True, the wax prevents the waxed paper from breaking down, but not in a way that takes forever.

What Can You Do with Old Wax Paper? (Ways to Reuse)

There are many creative ways to reuse old wax papers around your homes. In this segment, we give you a hint into some of the ways to reuse them.

1. Prevent Your Fingerprints from Faucet

The waxed paper is an excellent way to wipe the fingerprint stains from your faucet. All you need to do is wipe it gently over your faucet, and you have a smooth surface.

2. Improve Your Ironing

You can place the wax paper on your cloth and glide your iron over it. This does not last for a long time, but it helps you improve your ironing.

3. Use it To Ease Your Bottle Cork

If you don’t finish your wine, you can place the wax paper before putting it in the cork. This would help you the next time you need it. It would make it easier to remove.

4. Line Surfaces

The waxed paper is an excellent material to line different surfaces. This helps you prevent unnecessary stain on the surface. If you do this, you would have yourself to thank.


There are many things that we use in the home daily. Waxed papers and glossy papers are one of them. As you have seen, waxed paper is not recyclable, but the glossy paper is. Although they are both paper materials, they have different implications for the environment.

The way to go is to dispose of the waxed paper that is not recyclable properly. Asides from this, you should reduce your use of them every time. This would help you greatly reduce the number of waxed papers that get to the landfill.

As a way of commitment, you can join us to make an eco-friendly pledge. Commit always to limit your waste no matter the materials of the trash. Doing this is a win-win situation for every one of us.

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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.