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 Reduce Opt for Durable Wrapping Material Invest in reusable cloth gift bags (you can make your own or find some on Etsy), or try using festive fabric scraps to wrap gifts. Ways to Reuse Regift the Bag As long as the gift bag is in good condition, reuse it when giving someone a gift. Repurpose Gift Bags Gift bags make handy storage containers for items around the house, for car errands, or for lending and returning items to friends and family. Did You Know? 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. A whopping 38 million miles of ribbon is discarded per year, which is enough to wrap around the Earth.