Valentine’s Day Waste
Valentine’s Day revolves around the idea that you should give “sweets to the sweet.” Yet it produces some not-so-sweet stats:
  • Nearly a billion valentines are sent each year globally, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas
  • More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold each year
  • 110 million roses, the majority red, are sold, wrapped and delivered within a three-day time period
In some cases, it can be hard to know whether all those red, white and pink boxes, bags and wrappers belong in the trash or the recycling bin.

What you should know:

  1. Candy wrappers are usually made up of mixed materials, making the recovery of useful materials difficult and expensive. As a result, most waste management companies, manufacturers and municipal recycling facilities tend to turn their backs on candy wrappers. Be sure to check with your curbside recycler in advance!
  2. Candy wrapped in 100% aluminum foil or paper can be tossed in with your normal recycling.
  3. Cardboard chocolate and gift boxes can be recycled with paper and other light card (like cereal boxes) but remember to remove any plastic inserts and “windows” first. Metal chocolate tins can usually be recycled with tin cans.
  4. Wrapping paper and greeting cards can be saved for next year’s giving or recycled along with the rest of your mixed paper.
  5. Cellophane wrappers around flower bouquets can be saved and reused as wrapping paper, gift bag stuffing or scrapbooking material.

Upcycling option

TerraCycle has partnered with Mars/Wrigley, Cadbury and other candy companies to repurpose used candy wrappers. Conscious consumers are invited to join the Candy Wrapper Brigade by saving the wrapper every time they enjoy a Mars/Wrigley or Cadbury candy product. Collected wrappers are then sent in to the company, where they’ll be upcycled into purses, backpacks, coolers and other innovative products.