Can Window Envelopes Be Recycled?

If there is one thing I’m sure we’d all gladly get rid of, it’s junk mail. Prevalent in every format, it’s not uncommon for more than 80 percent of mail on any given day to be junk. Fortunately, a lot of it is recyclable — including window envelopes!

You know the ones. Often used by large companies to avoid printing addresses, window envelopes house tons of mail, from bank statements to airline promotions. They’re made from both paper and plastic, which makes figuring out how to recycle them a touch complicated. Here’s what you need to know.

Yes, window envelopes can be recycled.

Those of us who are “up” on recycling etiquette know that unrecyclable material can mess with recycling equipment, causing the whole process to go awry. (Grease on food containers is a good example of this.) Fortunately, the little piece of plastic in a window envelope isn’t one of the troublemakers.

Those little cellophane windows aren’t recyclable, but they should be able to be filtered out of the recycling system. Typically, paper is broken down into a pulp and any materials that don’t belong are filtered out and discarded.

So, you probably don’t need to be cutting those windows away from the paper envelope. That said, it’s important to check with your local recycling authority to make sure. Every facility is different.

But recycling doesn’t solve our waste problem.

Recycling isn’t going to stop advertisers and credit card companies from sending you promotions (a.k.a. junk mail). Junk mail accounts for 1/3 of all mail sent in the United States and it’s not going away anytime soon. Unless you are willing to do something about it.

Stop junk mail by:

You — and the planet — will be so glad you did!


Mia B
Past Member 20 days ago


William T
William T22 days ago

thank you for posting

Paulo R
Paulo Reeson22 days ago

i just take out the plastic window and recycle the paper part. Very easy and quick.

Sam E M
Sam E M24 days ago

Most windows have free corners on the inside of the envelope that make it easy to pull out the plastic without having to cut it out.

Martha P
Maria P26 days ago

thank you

Ann B
Ann B27 days ago

wish we could get rid of junk mail and robo calls---recycle them

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha C27 days ago

this will change the way i dispose of them!

David C
David C27 days ago


Andrea S
Andrea S27 days ago

i'm glad u can recycle them!!

Tanya W
Tanya W27 days ago

We need one rule for recycling. Sometimes different councils have different ideas from state to state. And I agree - Care2 is one hell of a mess at the moment! Will the powers to be please sort out this site before we loose any more members who are our friends!!!