Can You Recycle Laminated 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.

Laminated paper is great for all sorts of uses, like protecting important papers and documents from moisture and tearing.

The laminated coating reinforces the paper, giving it water and abrasion resistance as well as strength. But it can also be difficult to recycle for this reason.

Continue reading to find out if you can recycle laminated paper and more!

Can You Recycle Laminated Paper?

Although most recycling centers and trash companies do not accept laminated paper, you can still find some companies that will take it. This is because some have the means to shred it and use hydro-pulping to recycle it. Furthermore, certain cities have special recycling centers dedicated to laminated paper. 

Laminated paper comes in many forms, some of which you may not even recognize as being laminated. But when you are separating your recycling into different bins, it is important to know which is which. Continue reading for more information!

Why Laminated Paper Cannot Be Recycled

Laminated paper cannot be recycled like common everyday paper because when it is shredded, the lamination is not completely removed. 

If you can somehow remove the lamination from the paper by peeling it off, you can then add the de-laminated paper to the regular recycling bin with the other paper products. 

However, when the laminated paper is recycled like regular paper, its products are not biodegradable because the plastic used for lamination is not biodegradable.

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Also, plastic pieces can leak from the soil or water used in the recycling plant and this can taint or even poison land and water.

Additionally, when plastic from laminated paper gets into the environment, it is often consumed by marine animals and other sea life. 

So, if you eat contaminated seafood, you can become poisoned over time.

Furthermore, according to a current Environmental Health Reports study, when the microplastics are ingested, they do not typically get excreted. 

This will then cause them to build up in the circulatory and lymph systems. 

How To Dispose Of Laminated Paper

How To Dispose Of Laminated Paper

What does this mean for the planet? Well, there are a total of five trillion pieces of plastic floating in all of the oceans that total about 268,000 pounds of plastic waste.

That is why it is important to recycle this material, however, if the recycling companies will not accept laminated paper, what can you do?

Furthermore, the delamination process can be a time-consuming and difficult one for the everyday household.

Therefore, the best and easiet way to dispose of laminated paper is to put it in your general trash bin.

However, using the separation process to put laminated paper into Grade 52 bales with automation can make it much easier. 

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Additionally, the paper and laminated product does not have to be separated because other companies can reuse the Grade 52 paper for other things. 

Once the laminated paper is recycled, you are probably wondering how it is reused, well continue reading for the answer!

How Is Recycled Laminated Paper Used?

Certain companies like Carton Council can use the entire carton including all caps and send it to manufacturing companies all over the world. 

They then use the fibers extracted from the cartons to make items like:

  • Flooring
  • Paper towels
  • Roofing materials
  • Toilet paper
  • Wallboard

Different Types Of Laminated Paper

Much of today’s laminated paper comes from retail and restaurant packaging. However, many household items are made with laminated paper.

Typically, almost everything glossy is laminated, but this is not always the case. Some of these items include:

Now that you know the different types of laminate paper, you might be wondering how you can upcycle or reuse your laminated paper. Continue reading to find out how!

You Can Also Reuse or Upcycle Your Laminated Paper

Laminated paper can have other creative uses rather than sending them to be recycled. 

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Consider making other things that you can then use at home or give as a gift.

Some of the things you can make include:

  • Cut the laminated product into pieces and use the images to make your own crafts
  • Make a dry erase board
  • Shred it and use it as gift bag filler
  • Use it as a table protector when doing crafts
  • Make placemats from it

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle Post-it notes, whether you can recycle plastic and metal jar lids, and whether you can recycle envelopes with plastic windows.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, laminated paper is not recyclable, however, if the plastic is stripped off the paper underneath can then be recycled.

If you do not want to strip off the plastic coating you can either throw it away in the trash bin or try and upcycle it by making one of the following ideas listed above.

Author

  • 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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