Gallery: Researchers Find a Way to Recycle 100% of Wrapping Paper


Although beautifully wrapped gifts are one of the joys of the holiday season, it is important to think about where that paper is going to go after it is shredded to pieces while being opened. Most wrapping paper can’t be recycled — a lot of the traditional stuff is made out of non-recycleable plastic — so we like to use green alternatives like newspaper or scarves. Well, researchers at the University of Warwick have developed a technology that would make it possible to recycle 100% of plastic wrapping paper by using a new process that can break down even the most complex plastic polymers. At present only 12% of plastic is truly recyclable, so this new technology could potentially remove every piece of plastic from the waste stream and give it all a second — and third and hopefully fourth — life.

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