Here’s our guide on how to recycle and sort your papers more effectively!

Carton Boxes (OCC – Old Corrugated Carton)
With the latest online shopping trend, we have more cardboard boxes than ever. These shipping boxes are recyclable. Tapes and labels on the boxes need not be removed. However, if there are protective stuffings in the boxes; bubble wraps, styrofoam boards or foams, it should be removed and separated. Boxes should also be flattened for the ease of recycling.

Printer Papers, Documents, Letters (BW – Black & White paper, Mixed Paper)
The paper that comes out of your printer, i.e; bills, letters, documents, notepads, and notebooks are recyclable. Is there a difference between black and white papers, vs coloured papers? Should we sort them? The answer is YES! During the paper recycling process, fewer resources would be required in the de-inking process for black and white papers, therefore, black and white papers fetch a higher value as compared to coloured papers.


FAQ 1: What if I have coloured printing on my black and white papers/documents? What happens if coloured ink is used?
Answer: As long as it is not excessive, it can still be considered as black and white papers.

FAQ 2: My printed documents are in ring files, with coloured dividers coloured sticky notes. Some are in transparent folders as well. Do I have to remove these?
Answer: Yes, you do! Archfiles and the transparent folders are non-recyclable, and any form of coloured paper is considered as recycling contamination, which should be separated, so as not to affect the recycling process.

FAQ 3: Do I have to remove staples, paper clips, fasteners, metal binder clips, or raffia strings used to hold documents together?
Answer: The equipment at paper mills are designed to remove small items like staples and paper clips. However, fasteners, metal binder clips, or raffia strings should be removed.

FAQ 4: How do I handle envelopes with windows?
Answer: Do remove the plastic windows on envelopes before recycling, so that the paper can be kept as clean as possible, free from contaminants!

Receipts & Carbon papers
Receipts and carbon papers are coated with BPA and are non-recyclable or compostable.

Magazines (MA – Old Magazines)
Magazines can be recycled. However, magazines often come with glossy pages which should be torn off. These glossy pages are normally found on the cover and back page of your magazines. They are usually coated with a layer of plastic. Contaminants found on glossy covers affect the recycling process of paper.

FAQ 1: How do I tell if my magazine is considered as glossy pages?
Answer: Tear up a piece of the magazine. If you see a layer of plastic, it will not be recyclable.

Newspapers & Newsprints (ONP – Old Newspapers)
Newspapers and newsprints are recyclable!

Sticker Papers, Parchment Papers, Butcher Papers, Paper Cups, Paper Towels, Tissues, Candy Wrappers, Milk Cartons
These papers are often either coated with a layer of plastic or oil, or contaminated with food, so it is non-recyclable.

If you have any queries on paper products you would like to add to the list, do drop a comment below!