An Eco-Friendly Question: What’s Biodegradable Wrapping Paper?

September 01, 2022 3 min read

An Eco-Friendly Question: What’s Biodegradable Wrapping Paper?

When shopping for wrapping paper, one of the last things that we’re looking for is a wrapping paper that’s biodegradable. But, if you think of all of the gifts you’ve ever wrapped in your lifetime, you can understand why there’s a growing number of people who are asking what the wrapping paper industry, which has been thriving since 1917, has had on the environment.

Wrapping paper may not be as eco-friendly as you may think – at least, when it comes to the commercial, mass-produced wrapping papers that clog the grocery store aisles during the holiday season. Thankfully, more companies are producing biodegradable, sustainable options, like Waterleaf Paper. But, what does biodegradable wrapping paper actually mean, and why is it so important? Let’s find out.

What Does “Biodegradable” Mean?

The term “biodegradable” means that the product can be fully broken down and decomposed by microorganisms in our ecosystem, like bacteria and fungi, to leave behind zero waste. Take a piece of paper, for example, which, once wet, breaks down into nothing, leaving behind only nutrients like carbon that benefit our soil. Compare that to a plastic bottle, which can remain in a landfill for an indefinite period of time, clogging up our planet with no benefits whatsoever.

Biodegradability is a key to a more environmentally friendly way of mass production. Items that can decompose completely and naturally don’t just avoid contributing to the waste that’s clogging up landfills and oceans, but even gives back to the environment by feeding nutrients to the soil and sustaining microorganisms that benefit plant life around the world.

Many natural materials are biodegradable, and also can take the place of synthetic materials that became standard in the post-industrial 20thCentury. These materials include:

  • Wood pulp
  • Bamboo
  • Cork
  • Hemp
  • Rice 
  • Jute
  • Palm leaf
  • Plantain/banana leaf
  • And more

Is All Wrapping Paper Biodegradable?

The short answer is no, not all wrapping paper is biodegradable. In fact, most isn’t. The large majority of commercial wrapping paper is no longer made solely of wood pulp (a natural material from trees, from which paper products have been traditionally made), but polypropylene, polyethylene, laminates and other synthetic materials that are not only non-biodegradable, but nonrecyclable as well. These products therefore can’t be reused, nor can they decompose, and so they contribute to the already growing waste problem that’s harming our planet’s ecosystem. Wrapping paper that’s coated in glitter, metallics and other embellishments are also non-biodegradable.

How Does Biodegradable Wrapping Paper Help the Environment?

Biodegradable wrapping paper is made strictly of natural materials that do decompose through microorganisms that feed off of them. This means that the paper leaves behind zero waste, breaking down quickly to feed the soil that we rely on to grow and sustain healthy plant life around the world. Ultimately, it contributes to a healthy ecosystem.

How Can I Know That I’m Using Biodegradable Wrapping Paper?

Biodegradable wrapping paper is not as widely available as commercial, non-biodegradable wrapping paper, but that doesn’t mean that it’s hard to find. Companies that produce biodegradable wrapping paper will advertise it as such, and you can find companies online with a simple Google search. 

The Biodegradable Wrapping Paper at Waterleaf Paper

Waterleaf Paper is proud to create completely biodegradable wrapping paper – in fact, our wrapping paper is eco-friendly throughout every step of the manufacturing process. The next time you plan on wrapping some gifts, consider doing the environment a favor and opting for Waterleaf Paper to know that you’re doing something beneficial for the planet. We supply a wide selection of styles and more to ensure that all of your gift-wrapping needs are covered.

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