Recycle Right This Holiday!

Experiencing an increase in packages this holiday season? With each online order you receive comes material such as cardboard, packing peanuts, plastic pillows and padded envelopes. If you aren’t able to save and reuse the materials, seek proper recycling before sending them to the landfill:

Cardboard: Flatten and add clean boxes to curbside recycling or use in the garden to create compost or as mulch by first removing the tape.

Packing peanuts: Standard packing materials are most commonly made from polystyrene (EPS) and are sometimes made of biodegradable materials that dissolve in water. Both have a limited ability to be recycled so reuse or donation are the best options. Bag up all your packing peanuts in one container, such as a clear plastic bag, and check with a local shipping store, school or church who often accept donations. 

Plastic pillows, bags, and wrapping: Collect stretchy plastic bags and materials to bring to a plastic recycling center. Find the nearest site at

Padded shipping envelopes: Envelopes made entirely of plastic can be included in plastic bag recycling. Mixed material envelopes (paper and plastic) can be saved and used again or manually separate the paper from the plastic to recycle separately. 

Ribbon & bows: These are not recyclable but great to save for re-use on birthdays or future holiday gifts. 

Paper packing products and wrapping - Wrapping paper, cards or gift tags that are sparkly or have metallic elements cannot go in the recycle bin but paper packaging made off all natural paper can. Paper materials can also be shredded and added to your compost bin.

Download and save this resource from the City of San Diego to help you recycle right during the holiday: