Leave the Windows, Recycle All Paper Envelopes!

Text:  Envelopes with plastic windows can be recycled whole.  Photo:  Envelope with plastic window.
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MAKING YOUR RECYCLING LIFE EASIER! You DO NOT need to remove the clear windows from envelopes prior to recycling!

A couple of months ago, a community member wrote to us and asked, "I’ve always removed the plastic portion on envelopes, but do I actually need to do that or is there a system in place in the process to do that?"

We were SO excited to be able to bust this myth! In the past, it was commonly thought that those windows needed to be removed in order to recycle the paper envelopes, but as recycling and envelope manufacturing technology has changed and improved over time, that's no longer necessary!

Wondering why? Well, some of those clear windows LOOK like plastic, but are actually made of an organic material that breaks down in the pulping process of paper recycling. Similarly, the windows that are made of plastic are separated and skimmed off when paper recycling is being processed.

So if ripping all of those windows out felt daunting and you were trashing the whole envelope instead, fear not! Now you know you can safely throw the whole thing into your mixed paper recycling - HOORAY! 

You can read more about recycling ALL mail: https://www.afandpa.org/.../do-you-know-how-recycle-all...

#nrrarecycles #nrrarecycleright #recycleright

This material is based upon work supported under a grant by the Rural Utilities Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Rural Utilities Service. Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Inc., is an equal opportunity provider and employer.