Don't Burn

Gift Wrap

Don't Burn Wrapping Paper

Burning Wrapping Paper is Bad for the Environment

  • Wrapping paper may contain lead, synthetic inks, plastic film, chlorine or metal-based foils.
  • When burned, the inks used in colored wrapping paper can contain metals that give off toxic fumes and release carcinogenic compounds into the air. 
  • Toxic fumes end up inside and outside your home, and are then inhaled by your family, neighbors and pets.
  • Toxic fumes from burned wrapping paper pollute the air AND our local waterways. Particles within smoke eventually settle on the ground and in lakes, rivers and streams, and on surfaces like roads and sidewalks, where they are washed into storm drains that lead to the San Francisco Bay.
  • Inside your home, burning wrapping paper may also cause small fires in your chimney. This will cause an increased amount of smoke inside and outside your home and may exacerbate respiratory illnesses.
  • It is illegal to burn trash on any day. Gift wrap and ribbons are considered trash and should never be burned. If you must use wrapping paper, always recycle it instead of burning it.
  • According to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, an extra million tons of waste is generated per week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, including 38,000 miles worth of holiday ribbon. Help us keep these materials out of the landfill.

Wrapping Paper Alternatives

  • Gift cards: the ultimate gift to ensure your loved one gets the itemswhat they want while reducing trash and waste.
  • Reusable gift or tote bags: save bags you’ve received and pass them along to be reused by someone else. 
  • Reusable boxes: festive or self-decorated gift boxes are perfect for using over and over again.
  • Holiday tins: fill these with festive holiday treats and reuse these throughout the year.
  • Old maps: use an old map, old music sheets, crossword puzzles or old newspaper and string to create an interesting package.
  • Cloth napkins or scarves: place your gift in a holiday scarf, napkin or other interesting fabric and use a bow to tie it all together.
  • Baskets: place your gift in a basket and decorate with a scarf or fabric ribbon.
  • Jars: package your gift in a clear mason jar that can easily be reused.
  • Tissue boxes: repurpose decorated tissue or cereal boxes to hold your holiday gifts.

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