Are sticky notes recyclable? What You Need to Know

Sticky notes are a must-have office supply for many people. They’re perfect for jotting down reminders, to-do lists, and other important information. However, with so many sticky notes being used daily, it’s crucial to consider their impact on the environment. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not sticky notes can be recycled, and provide some tips for eco-friendly sticky note use.

What Are Sticky Notes Made Of?

Sticky notes are usually made of paper, although some are made of plastic. The paper used in sticky notes is typically low-grade and lightweight, making it difficult to recycle. The paper fibers in sticky notes are shorter and more brittle than those found in higher-grade papers, which makes them challenging to recycle.

Why Is Recycling Sticky Notes Challenging?

Sticky notes present challenges for the recycling process due to the adhesive on their backs. When the paper with adhesive is mixed with other recyclables, it can gum up the machinery and cause issues with the recycling process. This makes it more challenging for recycling facilities to recycle sticky notes.

So, are post it notes recyclable?

While it’s technically possible to recycle sticky notes, most recycling facilities do not accept them. As a result, it’s best to dispose of them in the trash. However, if you’re still keen on recycling them, check with your local recycling facility to see if they accept sticky notes.

How Can You Reduce Sticky Note Waste?

Even though sticky notes may not be recyclable, there are ways to reduce the amount of waste they create. Here are some eco-friendly sticky note use tips:

  1. Use both sides of the paper: Instead of using a new sticky note for every message, consider using both sides of the paper. This will help reduce the number of sticky notes you use and therefore the amount of waste you create.
  2. Use digital alternatives: Whenever possible, try using digital alternatives to sticky notes, such as note-taking apps or virtual sticky notes on your computer.
  3. Buy recycled paper products: When purchasing sticky notes or other paper products, opt for products made from recycled materials. This helps reduce the demand for new paper products and supports the recycling industry.
  4. Compost paper products: If you have a compost bin or pile, consider composting paper products like sticky notes. This can help reduce the amount of waste you create and provide nutrient-rich soil for your garden.

Sustainable alternatives to Sticky Notes

If you’re looking for alternatives to sticky notes, here are some to consider:

  1. Chalkboards or whiteboards: These can be great for jotting down notes and reminders without creating any waste.
  2. Memo pads: While memo pads are still made of paper, they don’t have adhesive on the back, which makes them easier to recycle. Plus, they’re often made from higher-grade paper than sticky notes, which makes them more likely to be accepted by recycling facilities.
  3. Dry-erase markers: Consider using dry-erase markers on a whiteboard or other non-paper surface instead of sticky notes. This can help reduce paper waste and give you a reusable surface for note-taking.


In conclusion, while sticky notes may seem harmless, they can have a significant impact on the environment if not used responsibly. While recycling sticky notes is challenging, there are ways to reduce the amount of waste they create. By making eco-friendly choices, like reducing your use of sticky notes and exploring alternative note-taking options, you can help contribute to a more sustainable future. Remember, small changes can make a big difference when it comes to protecting the environment.