Can You Recycle Kraft Paper? (All You Need To Know)

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Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

Kraft paper is an excellent durable paper that can be used for a variety of uses. Everything from packing material all the way up to commercial and industrial uses, therefore, this versatile paper is the preferred material for a lot of businesses. However, is it recyclable? 

Can You Recycle Kraft Paper?

Kraft paper is one hundred percent recyclable as well as biodegradable . This is because it is made from recycled materials, as well as non-toxic chemicals. Therefore, Kraft paper is one of the strongest eco-friendly materials out on the market, making it perfect for craft projects and more!  

Read on to learn more about Kraft paper and what else you can recycle so we can all do our part to be eco-friendly!

What Is Kraft Paper Made Of?

Almost all paper is made from wood and this is done by trimming chopped logs down into a wood pulp.

Then, in most cases, it will involve the addition of chemicals and bleaching, which is why most paper is not as strong. 

Furthermore, what makes the Kraft process different from other papers and why it is so strong is in the way it strips away lignin and leaves more cellulose. 

Cellulose is going to make stronger paper in the end. Plus, there is no need to bleach it, which allows the paper to be even stronger.  

How To Recycle Kraft Paper?

If you are a homeowner or live in a residential area, you should have garbage bins assigned to you that are for cardboard and paper. 

Additionally, any Kraft paper you accumulate from either packages you have received or any other sources can be thrown in this bin. 

Even if you are a renter, your landlord should have a waste dumpster as well as a cardboard dumpster for you to use, and kraft paper can be disposed of in this type of dumpster. 

However, if your landlord does not provide a recyclable receptacle, then you can look online for your nearest recycling facility and drop it off there.  

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Furthermore, if you are a business, you should have a dedicated place for recyclable material. 

This is because items like Kraft paper, cardboard, regular paper, and other recyclable shipping materials should be disposed of properly to stay green. 

How Is Kraft Paper Recycled? 

Due to Kraft Paper’s many uses, there is a three-step process to the recycling process.

  • Sorting and collecting.
  • Bailing and shipping.
  • Milling.

Furthermore, to be reused correctly, it is important to sort each paper based on its prior use, get it packed up, shipped, and milled down. 

Different Types Of Kraft Paper Need Sorting

Kraft paper has so many uses that it must be separated to be properly recycled. 

For example, basic Kraft paper can be recycled with things like cardboard and other paper. 

However, Kraft Paper used in such circumstances as food delivery may have a wax coating added to make it less susceptible to condensation or other moisture sources. 

Therefore, Kraft paper such as this needs to be separated from regular Kraft paper so it can have coatings like this removed before going to the next step of recycling. 

This is important because Kraft paper is recyclable and biodegradable and needs to be free of any harmful chemicals to be recycled properly. 

Bailing And Shipping Of Kraft Paper Saves Time And Space

Bailing And Shipping Of Kraft Paper Saves Time And Space

This simple but important step can save time and money. 

Just like you might see a cardboard crusher in the back room of a supermarket, the same goes for Kraft paper. 

Therefore, once it is all sorted and collected, bailing up your Kraft paper is going to be the best way to save space and time. 

Milling Or Breaking Down Kraft Paper To Use It Again

Once your Kraft paper is sorted and bailed together, it will most likely be shipped to its final recycling place, a mill. 

Furthermore, several steps are done depending on what type of Kraft paper you have.

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Some will be cleaned, some will be made into pulp, while some other types will simply be bleached and made ready to become Kraft paper again. 

What Are The Most Common Uses Of Kraft Paper?

Most times Kraft paper is only associated with its use for packaging purposes. 

However, Kraft paper is strong and versatile and has many other uses. 

  • Food Storage: Due to its strength and moisture resistance, Kraft paper is a great alternative to plastic food bags or containers you use only once and throw away.
  • Construction: Kraft paper can be used in construction. A layer of Kraft paper under a hardwood floor will help insulate and cause less creaking. Also, a layer of Kraft paper stapled over wall insulation will add a little extra climate control in a finished house. 
  • Creativity: Kraft paper can be purchased in a giant roll and hung from a wall to allow your child a great workspace for coloring and painting. Due to its neutral color and texture, it shows colors brilliantly.  
  • General Upcycling: Because Kraft paper can be used for many household purposes, it can easily be reused. For example, if you received a package wrapped in Kraft paper, you can use this as a canvas for a child’s drawing. You could even use it as a temporary tablecloth for a messy dinner.  

Is Kraft Paper Compostable?

Another great thing about Kraft paper is it is one hundred percent Compostable. 

Additionally, its material allows for it to break down very fast in any compost heap. 

Therefore, it will quickly disappear and become fertile soil along with your other yard waste and expired fruits. 

What Does Kraft Paper’s Carbon Footprint Look Like?

Kraft paper’s carbon footprint is thankfully very small.

Not only is Kraft paper made from resinous pine and other wood not desirable for structural building, but it can also be made from bamboo

This is essentially like recycling the trash. When a forest is cut down for lumber, the less desirable pieces can still be of some use. 

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Furthermore, a recent ten-year study here in the US shows that Kraft paper factories and facilities have one of the lowest emissions of CO2 compared to other businesses. 

That fact, combined with Kraft paper not using toxic chemicals in its production, makes it one of the greenest products to produce.     

What Are Some Other Common Recyclable Items?

Every now and again, people will be unsure of what other products can be recyclable, like Kraft Paper.

Therefore, here are a few commonly questioned items. 

  • Wet cardboard: It may be heavy but is one hundred percent recyclable.
  • Books and Magazines: As long as not water damaged or brown. 
  • Old Batteries: Almost all batteries can be recycled and should never be thrown out with the regular trash. 
  • Old Keys and scrap metal: Most recycling centers will have a bin for miscellaneous metal and scrap.

These are just a few of the most commonly mistaken items people do not realize they can recycle. 

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle glossy paper, whether you can recycle photographs, photo paper, and negatives, and whether you can recycle magazines.


Kraft paper is one of the greenest products from start to recyclable finish. Environmental concerns grow stronger and stronger as time goes by. So, it is a great comfort to know something that is so widely used is actually environmentally friendly. 

Furthermore, strong and versatile, Kraft Paper is a product you never have to worry about ending up in the ocean or harming the environment as it is easily recyclable.       


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

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