Can you recycle greaseproof paper in the UK?

Can you recycle greaseproof paper in the UK?

Can you recycle greaseproof paper in the UK? We all want to do our bit to help the environment, and recycling can play a big role in this. Most people will now have a recycling bin where all of their rubbish that is able to be recycled can go. However, there can sometimes still be a bit of confusion about the sort of waste that can be put in these bins. This article will look at whether or not you can recycle greaseproof paper in the UK

Can you recycle greaseproof paper in the UK?

Paper is a widely recyclable product however generally speaking, it is not usually possible to recycle greaseproof paper. This is because of the silicone coating which gives this paper its non-stick surface. Greaseproof paper also can’t be recycled because of the oil and stains that are on the paper from your cooking would be classed as a contaminate.

Is greaseproof paper the same as baking paper?

Greaseproof paper, baking paper and parchment paper are all terms that are often used interchangeably to describe the same thing. These papers are a special grade paper used in the food industry from the packaging of fast foods and butter to a non-stick lining for your baking tray. For mess-free baking cookies and other baked goods can be placed on this paper to stop them from sticking to the tray which they have been placed on. It is this non-stick coating which makes these papers non-recyclable.
Can you recycle greaseproof paper in the UK?

What type of paper cannot be recycled?

Paper is something that can usually be widely recycled in the UK. This sometimes leads to the misconception that all types of paper can be recycled, but this is not actually the case. There are actually quite a few paper products that are not suitable for recycling. Often the best way to tell is to scrunch the paper. Once released if it starts to return to its original shape it is not recyclable.

The decision that McDonald’s made to switch from plastic to paper straws was quite controversial as not many people seemed to be a fan. It was made even worse when it soon came to light that these new paper straws could not be recycled because of their thickness. This led to more people thinking about what paper products could be recycled and which ones couldn’t.

The following list shows things that can’t be recycled along with the rest of your paper:

  • Sticky notes: The adhesive strip along the top of these notes mean they are not suitable for recycling.
  • Receipts: If they are printed on thermal paper then this contains properties that cannot be recycled.
  •  Some wrapping paper: If the wrapping paper has a foil coating it should not be placed with the rest of the recycling.
  •  Some birthday and Christmas cards: Again, any card that contains foil cannot be recycled.
  • Pringles tubes: These may appear to be made from paper and cardboard but they actually also contain a layer of foil.
  • Take out cups: Although the sleeve is usually recyclable the cup itself isn’t always because the majority of them gave a plastic lining.

What Eco Alternatives Are Available?

If you would prefer to use an eco-friendly alternative to greaseproof paper, then there are products which are available for this purpose.

  • If you care baking sheets: These non-stick baking sheets are free from chlorine and 100% compostable. This means that even though it can’t be recycled and used to make new paper products, it is still not going to landfill.
  • Reusable baking sheets: Another alternative is to buy greaseproof paper that can be reused. This paper is usually a lot thicker than regular greaseproof paper and it can be washed down after every use. There will come a time when it needs to be replaced, and the old one will not be able to be recycled. However, in the time that you have been using this sheet, it would have saved a lot of other regular sheets from being thrown out.
  • Silicone baking mat: A popular choice amongst bakers these mats are reusable and long lasting. A lot of them come with a two-year guarantee.


If you are a big fan of baking, then you may be concerned that the greaseproof paper that you use cannot be recycled. The good news is that there are some eco-friendly alternatives that you can use instead. It is important that you don’t place greaseproof paper in with the rest of the paper recycling because it can contaminate everything else that could have been recycled. It is always a good idea to check the recycling status of any paper product that you are unsure about before you put it with everything else that needs to be recycled. You should find that your local council has a full list on their website of the things that shouldn’t be included in your household recycling.

Whether its private and confidential letters you are receiving at home or the masses of confidential documents being shredded. Paper shredders are providing a vital service in protecting and safeguarding. Since the introduction of GDPR in 2018 there is even more of an emphasis on protecting confidential data. However, with the masses of paper being shredded daily it leads us to ask the question can you recycle shredded paper in the UK?