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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Dos & Donts of Paper Recycling for Tissue

By Staff Writer

Did you know tissue, toilet paper, paper towels and napkins can be made from recycled newspapers, food boxes, shopping bags and more?  SCA Tissue, located in Flagstaff, collects recycling from around the state to make 100 percent recycled tissue products!   SCA uses 70,000 to 80,000 tons of paper each year to create their products, and that isn’t enough!  Image how much paper is being wasted instead of recycled.  You can help this effort by encouraging places you patron to offer recycled paper products and to vote with your dollar when choosing paper products.  Here are some ways to expand your paper recycling efforts at home or at work.


Do recycle all paper that is white inside when you tear it.  If you can’t tear the paper, it probably isn’t recyclable.

Do remove all large tape and other adhesives from paper before recycling it – glues and adhesives gum up the recycling and papermaking equipment.

Do recycle cardboard boxes, paper shopping bags and other brown papers that do not contain food residue.

Contain large amounts of shredded paper in large clear plastic bags so recycling staff can identify the paper.

Do remove large binder clips and plastic report covers from paper.  It’s OK to leave small paper clips and staples in – these will come out in the recycling process.

Ideally, deposit recyclable paper in containers specifically designated for that type of paper.  If you live in the greater Phoenix area, use the search feature at paperretriever.com to find a paper recycling bin near you.

Many paper manufacturers that recycle paper allow drop-off of clean recyclable paper.


Don’t try to recycle boxes that have been in direct contact with unpackaged foods (pizza boxes, produce boxes, etc.).  These are contaminated and/or have wax linings that are not recyclable.

Don’t try to recycle wrapping paper unless it is eco-friendly, recyclable paper.  Be sure to remove the tape first.

Don’t try to recycle hardcover books without removing the covers first.

NO PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS!  Don’t ever leave newspapers or any other papers in plastic bags.  These will clog recycling and papermaking equipment.

Don’t tie bundles of paper with string.  String will become wrapped around and clog recycling and papermaking equipment.

Don’t leave paper in plastic folders, plastic report holders or other plastic binders. 

Don’t recycle any used tissue products like paper towels, bath tissue, facial tissue or napkins. 


  1. I would like to find more detail information about the technology of making tissues from recycled papers. also I’m looking for companies manufacturing the required machinery for the same purpose.

  2. Why can we not recycle used tissues? The idea may seem gross but people go through so many tissues, napkins, etc. Have been uneasy about doing it in the past but if we can – we’d like to know!

    • Used tissues and napkins can’t be recycled because once they’re dirty, they’re no longer composed of only paper. However, you could try using handkerchiefs instead to reduce your impact.


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