Gift Bags Put in Garbage Cart Gift bags should be placed in the garbage cart. They are often made from a paper-plastic mix and decorated with other materials that can’t be recycled. This type of material can’t be recycled because the paper and plastic can’t be separated at our local recycling facilities. Ways to Reuse Regift The Bag As long as the gift bag is in good condition, reuse it when giving someone a gift. Keep Gift Bags for Storage Although they don’t last forever, sturdier gift bags can make handy storage containers for items around the house or for car trips. Did You Know? Top 7 Ways to Be More Sustainable During the Holidays Gift Wrapping Waste How much gift wrapping waste do Americans generate on a yearly basis? About two pounds per person, or 40 million pounds in total, which includes paper products used to wrap, package and decorate gifts. 38 million miles of ribbon are discarded per year, which is enough to wrap around the Earth.