What to Recycle

What to Recycle


These paper and packaging items can be recycled easily in South Africa.

  • Magazines and brochures including glossy varieties
  • Newspapers (preferably within three months to ensure quality fibre)
  • Office and shredded paper as well as envelopes
  • Paper packaging and cardboard – cereal and dry food boxes; cosmetic and medicine boxes (as well as information leaflets); toilet and kitchen roll cores; packing boxes and cartons; corrugated packaging for electronic equipment and appliances
  • Paper giftwrap and boxes (Remove ribbons, sticky tape and embellishments)
  • Liquid packaging – small and large cartons for milk, juice, custard and other liquid food cartons. Some dry food is also available in cartons.

Yes, liquid cartons are recyclable.

  • Cartons are made up of 75% paperboard from certified and sustainably managed plantations to give them their form and strength. On the inside, thin layers of polyethylene (20%) and aluminium (5%)(poly/Al) to keep foodstuffs safe without refrigeration.
  • Through a special hydropulping process, the paperboard becomes saturated into a pulp and separates from the poly/Al layer. The pulp is used to make new paper-based products while the poly/Al goes into plastic injection-moulded goods.
  • For more information on how to recycle cartons, go to our How to Recycle section.

For more detailed information go to Paper Grades.


These items are not recyclable due to contamination, finishes (laminates and foils) or lack of processing facilities in South Africa.

    • Used paper plates, disposable nappies, tissues and toilet paper
    • Wax-coated, foil-lined or laminated boxes (unless stipulated)
    • Used cement bags
    • Used dog food bags
    • Foil gift wrapping
    • Carbon paper
    • Laminated paper

Learn some good garbage habits under our How to Recycle section.