Gift Bags Put in Garbage Don't Recycle If Glossy Gift bags are often appear glossy if they are made from a paper-plastic mix. This type of material can’t be recycled because the paper and plastic can’t be separated. No Adornments Generally, gift bags can’t be recycled if they have ribbons or bows. If your gift bag is 100 percent paper, it is okay to recycle, but first remove all of the adornments. Ways to Reuse Regift the Bag As long as the gift bag is in good condition, reuse it when giving someone a gift. Keep Gift Bags for Storage Although they don’t last forever, sturdier gift bags can make handy storage containers for items around the house or for car trips. Did You Know? Gift Wrapping Waste How much gift wrapping waste do Americans generate on a yearly basis? About two pounds per person, or 40 million pounds in total, which includes paper products used to wrap, package and decorate gifts. 38 million miles of ribbon are discarded per year, which is enough to wrap around the Earth.