10 Innovative Ways to Recycle Shredded Paper

shredded paper, pile, scraps, scrap paper

Recycle shredded paper? What?

We get it—most people don’t think twice before they toss their shredded paper in the trash. Companies and individuals alike do it all the time. But have you ever stopped to wonder what impact this simple act may have on our environment?

The Environmental Protection Agency confirms that every year, the average person uses “the equivalent of a 100-foot tall Douglas fir tree worth of paper and wood products.”

Think how much paper we’d waste if we didn’t recycle… Shredded paper is still paper! Like regular paper, it can be recycled and reused for various purposes, like arts & crafts or gardening.

Don’t believe us? Keep scrolling for more ideas!

10 Innovative Ways to Recycle Shredded Paper

1. Gift Packaging

Shredded paper as gift packaging

Use shredded paper to ensure that delicate gifts will be snug and secure in their gift boxes or baskets. You can also use it to pack away your Christmas ornaments, dishes, and glassware.

2. Arts & Crafts Projects 

Shredded paper Easter  basket filler

Take advantage of Easter and use your paper to fill baskets and cover painted eggs.

In the winter, make snowmen or animals with shredded paper by drawing the outline of the character you want on a piece of paper and gluing paper shreds inside of the picture.

3. Paper Mâché

paper mache, pot, kitchen, shredded paper

You can also use your shredded documents in paper mâché projects with the kids!

4. Centerpieces

shredded paper centerpiece

Are you artsy and creative? Take on this challenge and transform your pile of shredded paper into unique centerpieces!

Fill a clear vase with shredded paper and arrange some flowers in it. Or simply fill a bowl or jar with the paper, using different colors to make a bold statement.

5. Decorations

glass ornament, christmas, christmas ornament, decorations, shredded paper

Use your shredded paper to create Christmas ball ornaments. All you have to do is stuff some clear ornaments with colored paper.

Be as festive as you like!

6. Scarecrows

wizard of oz, scarecrow, stuffing, halloween, pumpkins, pumpkin patch, halloween decorations

Whether you love going all-out for Halloween or just need something to scare the birds away, you can always count on shredded paper to make sure your scarecrows are nice and stuffed.

7. Pet’s Bedding 

pets, animals, pet tank, hamsters, bedding, paper bedding

Your pet will love having shredded paper in its fortress—it’s absorptive and comfy!

Don’t have a pet? Donate paper to animal shelters that will use it for their cats and dogs. This is one of our favorite ways to recycle shredded paper!

8. Cat Litter

litter box, shredded paper, ways to recycle shredded paper

Similar to #7, shredded paper with non-colored ink can be used as cat litter. After the paper litter’s used, scoop the waste into the toilet.

This is actually better for the environment than buying cat litter at the store! Unlike paper, cat litter contains lots of chemicals that can’t be broken down.

9. Gardening

compost, shredded paper, garden, compost bins, gardening, recycle

Another neat use for shredded paper is in gardening—specifically compost bins. You can also substitute mulch with shredded paper or put shredded paper at the base of potted plants to prevent leaks.

10. Fire starters

shredded paper, recycling, toilet paper rolls, cardboard, paper

And finally, shredded paper can be used as fire starters. Take some paper towels or toilet paper rolls and stuff them with shredded paper.

How do you use your shredded paper? Let us know in the comments below!


Edited on 12/2/2019 by Dana Kim.

Author: Alicia Hall

Alicia specializes in Inbound Marketing and business planning.

6 Replies to “10 Innovative Ways to Recycle Shredded Paper”

  1. Very smart and creative ideas for using shredded paper. My girls love shredding old paper and then play with it for hours. I’m trying to show them more about recycling and how to minimize rubbish, and how important is this all. these suggestions are great examples how paper can bee used again once useless as a document. Thank you for the clever solutions. Greets!

  2. Thanks for your comment about how you should recycle your shredded paper instead of throwing it away. I like all of the art purposes you gave for saving and reusing them such as packing and wrapping presents. My husband and I are considering paper shredding since we work from home and recycling the paper too!

  3. My water utility just sent me a flyer telling that sauces, cooking oils, food scraps, etc. eventually block pipes. They are also messy in the kitchen trash can. A container of shredded paper in the kitchen would provide excellent material to sop up messy oils and scraps in the waste can. Would be great for hot cooking fats.

  4. Having made my suggestion, it occurs to me, this is a bit of a non-problem. We don’t want plastics to go into landfills because they don’t degrade. But shredded paper degrades very quickly. What better to put in a landfill? Your idea of composting it is exactly that. In any event I have a container of shredded paper in my kitchen, and have already used it t pour into my trash container( lined with a plastic bag) to absorb hot bacon grease. Works like a charm!

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