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Can Sticky Notes be Recycled?

Can Sticky Notes be Recycled?

I was rewatching the tv series "The Office" for the 14th time (not exaggerating), and watched a character named Gabe explain how he likes to use text-message shaped sticky notes when he's in a "fun mood." Gabe's weird expression of a fun mood triggered a thought. Can sticky notes be recycled? It's possible the paper part of the note could be recycled, but I wasn't sure if the glue side of paper could also be recycled. I did some research, and found out if sticky notes could be recycled.

Can sticky notes be recycled? Yes. According to 3M, the company that owns Post-it® Notes, Post-it® Note sticky notes can be recycled. 3M conducted recycling trials on their sticky notes, and found that "the adhesive on the paper does not interfere with paper recycling because the adhesive is substantially removed in the paper deinking process."

Although sticky notes are recyclable, there are still better options for the environment. At the bottom of this post, I've made a list of eco friendly alternatives to Post-it® Notes!

Can you recycle paper that has glue on it?

can sticky notes be recycled

After I found out that sticky notes can be recycled, I began wondering if other paper with glue on it could be recycled. Here's what I found.

Can you recycle paper that has glue on it? According to Recycle Nation, "as long as you do not have an excessive amount of glue, spray adhesive, tape or other adhesives on items like paper and poster board, you can recycle them according to your community's guidelines for paper recycling."

If you're unsure about whether or not you can recycle something, you should always check with your local government's recycling program.

Read Why Stainless Steel Ice Cubes are Safe to Use

To find your local government's recycling program, search "recycling program (enter your city here)." After searching that in Google, or whichever search engine your prefer - your local recycling directory should be one of the first results.

Are sticky notes compostable?

Here's a tricky question, are sticky notes compostable? To be clear, there's a difference between biodegradable and compostable. Biodegradable means that the object can be decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. If something is compostable, it means that the object can break down just like biodegradable objects, but it adds nutrients to the soil.

So are sticky notes compostable? If the sticky notes are made from all natural materials, and are non-toxic, they are biodegradable and can be tossed in the compost. However, unless the sticky note is specifically advertised as biodegradable, it should not be put in the compost as it may leak toxins into the soil.

Although sticky notes are recyclable, and some can be put into the compost, there's more eco friendly alternatives to sticky notes. Below I've created a list of the top environmentally friendly alternatives to Post-it® notes.

are sticky notes recyclable

Eco friendly alternatives to post it notes

There are plenty of eco friendly alternatives to Post-it® notes. So I decided to compile a list of my top 5 picks for environmentally friendly sticky notes. This lists includes digital sticky notes, sticky notes made from recycled paper, and more.

Top 5 Eco Friendly Alternatives to Sticky Notes

  1. Microsoft Virtual Sticky Notes
  2. ScreenSticky Virtual Sticky Notes (Great for teams at the office)
  3. SlickyNote Reusable sticky notes
  4. McSquares Reusable Sticky Notes
  5. Post-it® Greener Notes (Made from 100% recycled paper)

So why did I pick my top 5 recommendations for eco friendly sticky notes in that order? Firstly, I chose virtual sticky notes first because they create zero waste, and have no packaging.

I chose reusable sticky notes next, because they can be used over and over again without creating more waste for the landfills or recycling depots. Lastly, I chose the sticky notes made from recycled paper because I thought I should add an eco alternative to disposable sticky notes.

The Greener Notes by Post-it® are made from 100% recycled paper, so no new trees are cut down to make them. If you refuse to use a virtual or reusable sticky note, I recommend choosing Greener Notes.


Now you have options for environmentally friendly sticky notes! If you already have sticky notes made by Post-it®, you can feel reassured that you are able to recycle them.

I hope you learned something new from this post! If you did, consider sharing it on Facebook, Pinterest, or other social media so others have a chance to learn something new too!

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