The glossy paper offered by us is an excellent tool for creating stunning marketing materials.
Due to their glossy finish, these papers can be used to display logos and graphics effortlessly. They are also perfect for printing colorful logos and purchasing as business cards.
So, is glossy paper recyclable? Glossy paper is recyclable, but it requires extra care.
This is because glossy paper is stronger and more slippery than other types of paper. However, it can be recycled without problems at facilities that receive paper from curbside programs.
However, it’s best to avoid sending glossy paper to these facilities because it doesn’t process well and can cause jams in the recycling equipment.
If you’re looking to recycle glossy paper at home, it’s best to use a recycling center that accepts only glossy paper.
Is Glossy Paper Recyclable?
- 1 Is Glossy Paper Recyclable?
- 2 What Is Glossy Paper?
- 3 How To Find Plastic In Glossy Paper
- 4 Is Glossy Paper Biodegradable?
- 5 Is Glossy Paper Compostable?
- 6 What Happens When Plastic-Coated Glossy Paper Is Composted?
- 7 What Happens If Glossy Paper Isn’t Recycled?
- 8 Final Words
Yes, glossy papers are recyclable but they require extra care and attention when separating them from other materials and trash.
Glossy papers are simply papers with a shiny coating on the outside that makes them look and feel slick to the touch.
Many recycling firms would be more than happy to accept your used magazines, brochures and other marketing materials as long as they are not damaged or have ink on them.
What Is Glossy Paper?
Glossy paper is just normal paper with a shiny or gloss finish on it.
Glossy paper, like regular paper, is made from wood pulp or other natural fibers and is usually bleached using chlorine or hydrogen peroxide.
How To Find Plastic In Glossy Paper
Crumple The Paper
Another easy test to see whether a sheet of paper is plastic or not is to crumple it up and then see if you can bend it back to its original shape.
If the crumpled paper stays together it is more than likely made from plastic.
However, if the sheet returns to its normal form easily, then it is most likely made of traditional papers.
You will not be able to rip it apart as it will bend back easily as well.
Simply said, if you have difficulty ripping the sheet apart or crumpling it back up, then there is a good chance that the paper is made from plastic.
If this is the case, try purchasing another brand of the same type of paper for your work and see if the sheets tear and crinkle easier.
Try Tearing It Apart
The simplest way to tell whether a sheet of paper is made of plastic or not is to give it a try yourself.
Just grab a sheet of regular paper and a sheet of plastic sheeting and try to tear them apart.
Dip It In Water
The last method for determining if a paper is made of plastic is to dip it in water and test it for flexibility.
Allow the water-paper combination to sit for a few minutes and then try to bend the paper with your hands or press down on it with your hand to see if it feels flexible or stiff.
Examine what happened to the paper you dipped in the water, if any, to help you determine its composition.
Though the fragments seem mushy and deformed after soaking in water, the sheets with plastic coating are not affected by the water at all.
Is Glossy Paper Biodegradable?
Papers, in general, are biodegradable materials because cellulose is a biopolymer and trees have the capability of decomposing into simpler molecules such as carbon dioxide and water through the process of photosynthesis.
Glossy sheets are treated with polymers to make them glossy; therefore they are not biodegradable.
They are biodegradable despite the fact they are not made of paper because not all of the polymers used are harmful for the environment.
A glossy paper typically contains polyethylene, which is harmful to the environment, but in some cases it may also contain polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) which is a natural substance.
As you can see, they degrade faster than regular plastics and are more environmentally friendly.
Is Glossy Paper Compostable?
This question is a bit tricky to answer as it depends mostly on the type of plastic used to manufacture the paper and how it is recycled afterwards.
Your glossy paper is recyclable and should be collected along with your other recyclables and then processed to be reused or recycled into new products.
You may put your glossy papers in the compost bin if you remove staples, tape and other non-recyclable materials first.
Remember that glossy papers that still have ink on them are not compostable and will contaminate the compost pile so it’s best to just remove them first.
The same logic applies to other types of paper such as magazines and catalogues – if they are still in good condition, you can still recycle them.
If you have glossy papers with colour printing only on one side, you can usually use the other side for office notes.
What Happens When Plastic-Coated Glossy Paper Is Composted?
Compost should be organic since it feeds plants and makes the soil rich for planting; otherwise, it would just go to waste.
When soil gets contaminated, it loses its natural nutrients so it becomes useless as a fertiliser.
If a non-compostable item ends up in the compost bin, it can contaminate the compost and render it useless.
Once the hazardous substances have decomposed into micro-particles, they are no longer hazardous and can be safely returned to the earth.
What Happens If Glossy Paper Isn’t Recycled?
Paper and Plastic
If the glossy paper includes residues of plastic or oil-based inks, these will not be broken down by the composting process.
Because plastic is non-biodegradable (it does break down but takes a very long time), if it gets into the compost bin it will remain in the finished compost product.
As a result, glossy paper is discouraged from recycling because it cannot be processed into usable soil.
A paper that is glossy without any synthetic additions and contains no additives that can be toxic to microorganisms in the soil is called “natural” or “unbleached” paper.
As long as no dangerous chemicals are in the paper, it is suitable for recycling and composting.
Also Read:How Do You Dispose of Ceramic Tile
Glossy paper, like plain paper, is biodegradable and can be disposed of in landfills along with your regular garbage.
There is no harm in putting it in the recycling bin.
If you want to assist the environment and reduce your carbon footprint, try to purchase natural uncoated papers and reduce the amount of glossier ones you use in your day-to-day activities.