Paper Bag Recycling

Choosing to use recycled paper bags is a big step toward keeping our world safe and eco-friendly. It’s important to look for paper bags that are made with 100 percent environmentally safe materials that can be recycled when no longer needed.

The type of materials used to create our paper bags can be found in each item’s Product Details section under “Construction.” It also states if the product is recyclable.

Paper Bag Recycling Symbols

Recycling symbols can be found on many of the items we use each day. These symbols help us identify if products can be recycled and if they are made with recycled material.


This Mobius Loop symbol means the product is capable of being recycled but it is not guaranteed to be accepted by your local recycling center. It does not mean the product is made from recycled materials.


The Mobius Loop symbol surrounded by a circle is used to indicate the material is made from recycled paper. The percentage of recycled material is often displayed in the center.

Recyclable paper bags made with recycled content offers a wide variety of kraft bags that are made with various amounts of recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable. Here is a list of our most popular bags and their percentage of recycled content:

  • Kraft Eco Paper Bags contain a minimum of 95 percent recycled post-consumer paper and 5 percent post-industrial
  • Kraft Eco Paper Bags with peel-and-stick closures contain 100 percent recycled material with a minimum 95 percent post-consumer content
  • Eurototes contain 40 percent post-consumer recycled content

* offers other types of paper bags made with recycled materials. See the Product Details section for the percentage of recycled content for specific paper bag products.

Can you recycle a paper bag?

The majority of paper bags can be recycled. However, your paper bags may get rejected by the recycling center if they are made with a combination of paper and plastic; contain a plastic lining; are wet or soiled; or have permanently affixed handles or adornments made of other materials.

Are paper gift bags recyclable?

According to the Ohio EPA, gift bags that are coated with a heavy gloss may not be pulpable in some systems because they have to be separated from the fiber with a drum pulper. The agency also noted that paper bags with foil stamping can cause quality issues during the recycling process.

The only paper bags offered by that are not recyclable are Eurototes and Lined Gourmet Bags.

Check local recycling rules

Almost all materials are recyclable but you need a few things for this to happen. A recycling hauler has to be able to pick it up and process it at a recovery facility and have an end market for the material, according to Ohio EPA spokesman David Foulkes.

Most types of paper bags can be recycled through residential curbside programs and at drop-off recycling locations. However, please be aware that some recycling centers take items that others do not. Contact your local recycling agency for details.

Tips for reusing paper bags

Reusing is recycling, too!

You can reuse paper bags for lots of different tasks at home, work or on the road. Larger bags can be used to cover your kids’ textbooks or to haul groceries home from the store. Smaller paper bags with handles make perfect lunch carriers.

Other ways to reuse paper bags:

  • Wrapping paper for small gifts
  • Scrapbooking material
  • Storage for gift bows, craft supplies
  • Trash bag for your vehicle
  • Container to ripen fresh fruit
  • Arts and crafts supplies

Recycling Terms

  • Recyclable: Recyclable refers to products that can be collected and remanufactured into new products after use.
  • Recycling: Recycling includes the entire system in which recovered materials are collected, separated, processed and reused or returned to use in the form of a marketable product.
  • Recycled paper: Recycled paper is defined as a product that is produced entirely from recovered paper.
  • Recycled content: Recycled content is the portion of a product that contains materials recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream during the manufacturing process or after consumer use.
  • Post-consumer content: Post-consumer content is any material or product that is used by the consumer or business for its original purpose and then discarded for recycling (ex., newspaper).
  • Pre-consumer content: Pre-consumer content is material from excess or damaged products generated during the manufacturing process before reaching the consumer.
  • Post-industrial content: Post-industrial content refers to materials that are diverted during the manufacturing process and recycled for other usage.
  • GSM: GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter. The higher the GSM number, the heavier the paper.
  • Kraft paper: Kraft paper refers to natural-colored paper made from sulfate pulp. (Not related to Kraft Foods.)