How To Recycle Gift Cards {Explained!}

By Rebekah Pierce

This holiday, if you receive a gift card that you don’t want, don’t despair! There are several ways to recycle them so that they don’t go to waste. Here are some of the best ways to recycle gift cards.

What Are Gift Cards Made Of?

Have you ever wondered what gift cards are made of? 

While the material they are made of may vary depending on the type of card, they all serve the same purpose: to store value that can be used at a later time. 

Gift cards can be made out of paper, plastic, or even metal. The most common type of gift card is the paper gift card. Paper gift cards are made out of different types of paper, including coated paper, laminated paper, or even recycled paper. 

Plastic gift cards are made out of PVC, PET, or ABS plastic. They are more durable than paper gift cards and can last for years with proper care. Metal gift cards are made out of stainless steel, aluminum, or brass. T

hey are the most durable type of gift card and are often used as VIP or premium rewards cards. No matter what material they are made out of, gift cards all serve the same purpose: to store value that can be used at a later time. 

What Can You Do With Plastic Gift Cards?

Plastic gift cards have become a popular option for gifts in recent years, but what can you do with them once you’ve received them? While some people may simply throw them away, there are actually a number of ways to make use of these cards. 

Bring Them Back To The Store

You may be able to bring the gift card back to the store where it was purchased. The card can often be reloaded, if it no longer has any monetary value, or the store may be able to recycle it for you. Some stores also offer collection points at third-party locations to make it even more convenient. 

Donate To Charity

Another option is to donate the card to a charity. Many charities are happy to accept gift cards as donations, and this can be a great way to support a cause that you care about. 

Return By Mail

Look at the back of your gift card. It may have information on how you can return the gift card by mail. You won’t always get reimbursed for this option, but at least you know the gift card is going to good use and not just sitting in a landfill. 

Skip The Physical Gift Card Next Time

When it comes to gift giving, more and more people are opting for e gift cards instead of traditional physical gift cards. And it’s not hard to see why!

E gift cards are much easier to use. Physical gift cards can be tricky to keep track of, but with an e gift card, the recipient can just store the code in their wallet or on their computer. No need to worry about expiration dates or fees!

Donate, Sell, Or Swap Gift Cards With Friends

One option is to give them to someone else. If you receive a gift card for a store that you don’t frequent, chances are there’s someone in your life who would be thrilled to have it.

You can donate your gift cards to friends – either as a gift or just because – or sell them for less than what the value is. You can also just swap them if your friends have gift cards that you would prefer. 

Recycle At Home 

Of course, you can always recycle the old gift card, too – more on this below!

Where Can I Recycle Gift Cards?

December is a popular time for exchanging gifts, but what do you do with all of the gift cards you receive? Instead of letting them sit in your wallet or purse, use them to buy something you need or want. Or, better yet, recycle them! Here’s how.

Can I Put Gift Cards In My Curbside Recycling Bin?

The answer to this question is…well, sometimes. Gift cards are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and paper, which means that they sometimes can’t be recycled via traditional methods. 

Even cardboard gift cards are sometimes coated in a plastic coating that is difficult to remove via conventional recycling methods.

However, there are some steps you can take to ensure that your used gift cards don’t end up in a landfill. Many retailers offer trade-in or buy-back programs for gift cards, so you can sell your unwanted cards for cash or store credit. 

And if your local store doesn’t have a program like this, you can always donate your cards to a charity or nonprofit organization.

Do Retailers Recycle Gift Cards?

Many retailers now offer the option of donating your remaining balance to charity when the card expires or if you no longer have any use for it. 

While some retailers recycle unsold gift cards at the end of their life cycles, many others simply reprint cards to be sold again and again until they eventually wear out. 

Ultimately, by making informed choices about which retailer to purchase your next gift card from, you can help reduce unnecessary waste and support environmentally responsible companies.

Are Cardboard Gift Cards Recyclable?

While many types of cardboard can be recycled, unfortunately, that doesn’t include cardboard gift card holders. The problem is that the foil coating on most gift cards is not recyclable, so when the holder is made from cardboard, the whole thing has to be thrown away. 

If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option, try paperboard gift card holders. Paperboard is a type of recycled paper that can be recycled along with other paper products.

Are Amazon Gift Cards Recyclable?

Yes, Amazon gift cards are recyclable. This is because they are made from a number of different materials, including cardboard, plastic, and paper. These materials can all be broken down and reused in new products, making them an environmentally-friendly choice. 

Furthermore, recycling Amazon gift cards also reduces waste by keeping used products out of landfills and helping to conserve other natural resources. 

Considering the many environmental benefits of recycling these cards, it’s clear that they are an eco-friendly option for both businesses and individuals alike. So if you have any old Amazon gift cards lying around, be sure to recycle it.

What Can You Make Out of Old Gift Cards?

Have a bunch of old gift cards that you never use? Put them to good use by upcycling them into something new and interesting! 

One idea is to turn them into a keychain. Simply tape the gift card onto a key ring and voila – you have a colorful and unique keychain. 

You can also use gift cards to make bookmarks. Just cut the gift card into the desired shape, punch a hole at the top, and thread a ribbon or string through it. 

If you’re feeling really creative, you can even create a mosaic out of old gift cards. Just glue the pieces of gift card onto a piece of cardboard or another base material, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind work of art! 

You can even make a book marker! Check out this video for more information on how to do it:

What to Do With Used Gift Cards

If you’re like most people, you probably have a drawer full of old gift cards that you never use. While it may seem like there’s no point in hanging onto them, there are actually several ways to put those unwanted cards to good use.

So before you toss out your old gift cards, take a moment to consider all of the possibilities. With a little creativity, those unwanted cards can be turned into something useful.

So what are you waiting for? Get recycling! These tips should help make the process a little easier, but if you have any questions or need more assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local gift card retailer or consider other tips for reducing holiday and gifting waste instead. Happy recycling! 

Leave a Comment