Paper can be difficult to waste sort

Although many of us sort our waste, it can still be difficult to see where the gift wrapping, pizza boxes and used napkins go. We take a closer look at the three types of paper here and give you the answer on how to sort them correctly.


There are countless types and forms of paper. Both pizza boxes, newspapers and gift wrapping (to name a few) fall under this category. Although they are at first glance made of the same material, they do not all have to be sorted the same way. It can therefore be difficult to work out what the individual type of cardboard or paper should be sorted as. In this waste sorting tip, we give you some good advice for sorting paper and concrete answers to the three types of paper: gift wrapping, pizza boxes and napkins.

Gift wrap

Finally, the season for giving! Big and small! Whether it's a cozy Christmas Eve or a fun birthday, we give each other gifts, usually wrapped in gift wrap. But what do you do with all the wrapping paper after the presents are unwrapped? Gift wrapping often contains glitter or plastic, and this kind cannot be recycled for new paper production. Therefore, it must not be sorted as either cardboard or paper, but sorted as ordinary residual waste. However, there are certain municipalities that still recommend sorting gift wrapping as cardboard and paper, so always make sure to check your own municipality's recommendations.

You can also wrap gifts in a sustainable way! A lot of wrapping paper is only used once before it is thrown away. It's not that sustainable, is it? Instead of wrapping the gifts in disposable wrapping paper, you can also read our article "Five ideas for sustainable gift wrapping". In that article, you will get more good advice for beautiful, sustainable and, not least, personal gift wrapping without it being difficult.

Pizza Boxes

Pizza is very popular to eat in Denmark, and often we don't make them ourselves but order as takeout. The pizzas come in large cardboard pizza boxes, but where should the empty pizza boxes be thrown away? It's cardboard - shouldn't they be thrown away with cardboard and paper? No, the used pizza trays belong in the residual waste, as there will always be a bit of food residue or grease in the cardboard. This rule applies to all cardboard and paper with food residues on it. If the cardboard or paper has been used for food, it must be disposed of as residual waste. It impairs the quality of the recycling if they smoke together with the clean cardboard from, for example, cardboard boxes.

We also have a really good tip for when you have to throw away pizza boxes: Wet the pizza box under the tap, then it can easily be crumpled into a ball that doesn't take up much space in the bin. And then there is no risk of the pizza box blocking the waste chute.


What about napkins that you have used to wipe your mouth or hands with? The rule is the same as for pizza boxes, as napkins have often been in contact with food residues or grease. Used napkins should therefore not be in cardboard and paper either, but rather in the residual waste together with the pizza boxes.

But what should be sorted as paper and cardboard?

As a general rule, cardboard or paper waste must be clean and dry before it is sorted as cardboard and paper. Examples of waste that is sorted as cardboard and paper are books, newspapers, magazines and notepads, envelopes (including those with glass), empty kitchen or toilet rolls and boxes from breakfast cereals. As long as the cardboard or paper is clean and dry, it is sorted as cardboard and paper, and if there has been food on it, it must be sorted as residual waste.