How to Recycle Masking Tape

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Masking tape is easy to remove and tear, and is used to protect surfaces temporarily while painting, sewing, and similar projects. Often, masking tape is already a recycled product made from recycled paper pulp. Unless otherwise labeled, masking tape is not conventionally recyclable.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Masking tape roll
  • Read the packaging label on your masking tape. New brands are available that are engineered to be recycled. If you see a recycle symbol or other statement on the packaging, dispose of the tape in your usual recycling container.

  • Dispose of small amounts of masking tape in your regular recycle bin. The adhesive is minimal compared to the paper product and they can be processed together. The masking tape won't be recycled, but it is easily separated from the other products. The only exception is aluminum foil. Masking tape must be removed from foil before the foil can be recycled.

  • Separate the masking tape from the paper roll that holds it. The roll is recyclable in your regular bin.

  • Separate large quantities of masking tape. Do not leave it in your recycle bin. In many recycle centers it will collect at the bottom of the processing unit and they will move it to a landfill, negating your effort to recycle.

  • Contact your local recycling center and ask if they accept making tape. If the answer is no, ask if they will still buy it. Some recycling centers will purchase masking tape, bail it, and sell it again for re-use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Recyclable masking tape is sometimes called masking film.
  • Save the paper roll of masking tape for crafts.
  • Masking tape can be used (and is sometimes required) when recycling other materials. Use it to cover the ends of batteries or needles before disposal.
  • Contact your recycling center before disposing of large quantities of masking tape.

References

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