Are Envelope Windows Recyclable? ✉️: You don’t need to get confused trying to recycle envelope windows. As I have already discussed the recyclability of other packaging materials, let me also discuss with you the recyclability of envelopes with a plastic window installed on them.

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A bit about Waster

Before we discuss whether envelope windows are recyclable or not, let me share with you more information about Waster.

We here at Waster provide you with innovative solutions for your and your business’s waste management and recycling needs. Furthermore, we provide flexible, 30-day contracts instead of the typical lock-in contracts, which proves to be better.

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READ: Can Metal Clothes Hangers Be Recycled? ♻️


Yes, envelope windows are recyclable!

You can recycle envelopes quite easily – including the ones with windows installed on them. In fact, never mind the alleged screwing up of the recycling process when you put the windowed ones. What do I mean by that?

Well, it is the notion wherein if just a tad bit amount of unrecyclable materials goes in the process, it destroys the entire portion of recycled materials. As a result, we would spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to cut out the plastic parts.

This should not be the case with envelope windows. According to a blog I’ve read at earthsfriends, recycling machinery that treats paper can indeed remove contaminants – provided they are small in size.

Don’t get me wrong, the plastic windows on the envelopes definitely are not recyclable, but the machinery available there can filter them out of the recycling system. You do not need to waste your time sorting the plastic and paper of the envelope for hours; you can focus on other things, instead.

Like always, you should first contact your local council and follow the instructions they will give you to treat the recyclable envelope windows properly.

Put them in your yellow recycling bin and let the recyclers handle it for you. Additionally, just a reminder from Garbage Guru, you have to make sure that whatever you put in that bin – envelope windows or any other types of paper, cardboard, and plastics – should be dry and empty.


Just a tip: look for the recycling symbol or number

Some envelopes have a cellophane window installed in them. Can they be recycled? As a reminder for everyone, you should first check to see if a recycling symbol is available on the material. It is important to note that you can generally recycle type 1 up to type 5 plastics – with the recyclability being lessened as the number goes up. Conversely, type 6 and 7 plastics are usually disregarded by recyclers; we should always assume they cannot be recycled.


What if there is no symbol or number?

If you don’t see an indicator of its recyclability the manufacturer simply did not take the time to print the recycling symbol on the plastic. But not to worry; you can still check its recyclability.

First, as stated by Earthsfriends, you should touch the paper with your bare hands. If you feel a waxy or plastic surface, do not recycle it. Conversely, if the chipboard contains cardboard on one side – like a cereal box – then you can recycle the box.


How to recycle Amazon plastic envelopes

While we debate whether envelope windows are recyclable or not, I would also like to discuss Amazon plastic envelopes.

In the past, multinational technological giant Amazon used cardboard for their packaging. But that all changed when they decided to change their envelopes into plastic ones that contained bubble wrap. Read our blog on bubble wrap’s recyclability to learn more. Needless to say, it was met with a lot of criticism.

For one, why change something already good to something worse? The cardboard packaging is easily recyclable while the plastic ones with bubble wrap? Not so much.


What should I do with my Amazon envelopes?

If you are on your personal computers typing the following words: “Where to recycle bubble wrap envelopes?”, or in other words, your Amazon padded envelopes, the best thing you could do with them is to put them in the kerbside general waste bin. Additionally, you can also opt to drop them off at plastic bag drop-off locations.


Much better alternatives than recycling envelope windows (or any other plastic envelopes)

Quite frankly, I do not think of recycling as the sole, best option for getting rid of waste. And this proves true for any other type of envelope – especially the plastic, padded ones. Instead of debating on whether envelope windows – or any other type of envelope – are recyclable, it is much better to search for alternatives.

In saying this, here I present to you better options:

  • Reuse them – rocket science? I think not! If you want to lessen these types of waste, keep them and reuse them. Keep every packaging you can get your hands on.


  • Give them to someone else – you can also choose to give them to someone else. Maybe you might know someone who, for some reason, needs them. Instead of disposing of them which more often than not sends them to landfills, let someone else reuse them.


  • Protect your items with them – you can do this with padded envelopes. Stop asking if padded envelopes can be recycled or not and just use them to protect your valuable items. You won’t ever need to buy protective bags with these at hand!


Are envelope windows recyclable? Here’s what we concluded

Depending on its type, envelopes are quite tricky to recycle. But as I have earlier stated, this proves false for padded envelopes. Padded envelopes with plastic bubble wraps should instead be reused, dropped off at designated collection, or in the worst-case scenario, disposed of in the general waste bin.

padded envelope

Waster: Things You Need To Know

If you’re looking for recycling bins, check our waste recycling shop and find the best deals in terms of pricing and services.

Also, please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us at if you have any further questions.


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