How to Recycle Envelopes

March 22, 2011 | By | Comments (3)

If you work in an office or have an office at home, you likely have a variety of envelopes floating around. Some of them can just be tossed in the recycling bin, and some require one extra step.




Here's what you need to know to recycle each type of envelope.


Envelopes with plastic windows: They can actually go in with regular paper. Filters in the recycling system will remove the plastic film of the window.


FedEx: Paper FedEx envelopes can be recycled, and there’s no need to pull off the plastic sleeve. 


Goldenrod: Unfortunately, these brightly colored envelopes (frequently used for inter-office envelopes) aren't recyclable because of the hard-to-remove dye. If you have a choice, opt for white, light-colored, or recycled envelopes.


Jiffy Paks: Many Jiffy envelopes―even the paper-padded ones filled with that material resembling dryer lint―are recyclable with other mixed papers, like cereal boxes. The exception: Goldenrod-colored envelopes must be tossed.


Padded envelopes with Bubble Wrap: These can’t be recycled; try reusing them instead.


Tyvek (most commonly FedEx Paks): DuPont, the maker of Tyvek, takes these envelopes back and recycles them into plastic lumber. Turn one envelope inside out and stuff others inside it. Mail them to Tyvek Recycle, Attention: Shirley B. Wright, 2400 Elliham Avenue #A, Richmond VA 23237. If you have large quantities (200 to 500), call 866-338-9835 to order a free pouch.


For more tips on how to recycle just about anything, check out our A-to-Z Recycling Guide.



Where to Donate Your Used Items

How to Set Up a Recycling System

New Uses for Recyclable Items