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How to wrap gifts sustainable without plastic

Wrap gifts plastic free

Wrap gifts plastic freeThat makes sense! Because where many gifts are wrapped, there is also a lot of plastic waste. Gift wrappings create a beautiful moment, but are superfluous afterwards. Therefore, you should make sure that you free your gifts from unnecessary material and let your creativity run free. I've come up with 14 ideas to help you wrap your gifts in a plastic-free and sustainable way.

Plastic-free gift wrapping - principles

Packaging something sustainably means that the packaging of the gift does not waste limited natural resources and can also be reused as often as possible. Since plastic is made from the limited resource of petroleum (raw gasoline), we can easily wrap our gifts plastic-free. To make sure your gift doesn't create plastic waste, I have the following three principles for you:

1. wrap several gifts together

If you want to give away several gifts anyway, you can also wrap them together, right? This way you have less to carry and the surprise when unwrapping is even bigger. If it's convenient, you can also put or wrap one gift in another.

2. do not use plastic adhesive strips, as they are difficult to recycle

Adhesive plastic strips (scotch tape and the like) and other plastic material used for gift wrapping make recycling much more difficult. Why don't you just wrap your gift in old cloth and tie it with natural ribbon? Your gift will look fancier, you'll be highlighting your lifestyle, and you won't be making plastic waste. You can also use paper tape wonderfully. CAUTION: There are different ones here. Some paper tapes have long plastic threads that make recycling even more difficult than scotch tape and co.

3. be sure that your gift will really fit

Of course, you can never be 100% sure 😉 We are all too individual for that. But you can be "more sure" before you wrap your gift. Put some thought into your gift idea. This also contributes to sustainability and waste reduction.

Wrap gifts plastic-free - ideas and material

You've just learned a few principles for plastic-free gift wrapping. But gifts make an even better impression when they are sustainable and look good too! With the following ideas for sustainable gifts we go into more detail and make your plastic-free gift unique! Let's go!

4. decorate gift sustainably with natural material

Twigs, grasses, leaves, cones, poppies, etc. Everything you find in the forest or along the way is really good for decorating the gift. You don't have to overdo it, but it's always sustainable. Combine the gift with a brown paper gift box and tie it together with natural ribbon. This then creates a cohesive natural gift design. Being sustainable usually also means being creative.

Wrap gifts sustainably - Sustainable and plastic-free
Natural materials round out your gift and make it sustainable!

5. wrap your gift plastic free in fabric

Cotton, linen... why not just wrap your gift plastic-free in cloth towels? It looks cool and makes your gift sustainable and plastic-free. However, when buying fabric, make sure it's GOTS certified, so it's made from sustainable materials and comes from fair trade. You don't need glue or scotch tape either, as you can either knot the fabrics shut or tie them with natural bast/natural ribbon. Sustainable and plastic-free. With fabrics, even edgy gifts can be wrapped very without the gift wrapping tears. The fabric can also be wonderfully reused. Either for the next plastic-free gift or completely different ideas. Who can sew well, can make from the fabrics, for example, a bag.

6. plastic free gift in reusable package

Gift wrapping doesn't always have to be trash right after unwrapping. Why not use creative, reusable things as gift packaging? For example, shopping baskets, cloth bags, cans, boxes, or even canning jars. Depending on what you want to give, these things are wonderful plastic-free alternatives for your gift wrapping that also don't make plastic waste. Beeswax wipes are also really good for plastic-free gift wrapping, in addition to being used as a substitute for plastic wrap! The important thing is that the gift wrap can be reused. Already the gift is sustainably packaged.


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7. make plastic-free gift glue yourself!

As short-lived as gift wrap usually is, you don't need a special glue from a plastic tube either! The plastic-free alternative is to simply make the glue yourself. It's super easy and explained in a nutshell:

For the homemade glue you just need:

  • 1 tablespoon fine wheat flour and
  • max. 200 ml water

Put the flour in a small bowl and then gradually add the water, you may not even need it all until it reaches the right consistency. A little stirring and you have your glue. Depending on your purpose, the glue may need to be a little harder or spreadable. If you don't use it all up right away, the glue will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.

8. give small gifts in nut shells and co.

Jewelry and other small gifts do not always have to be given in a plastic box or bag. Why not a natural plastic-free gift packaging that makes no plastic waste? For example, the shells of walnuts are really good as a small natural gift box. You can simply glue them together with homemade glue (instructions in the previous tip) or tie them together with natural ribbon.

9. plastic free gift wrapping with old cigarette packets

Do you still know those old cigarette packs made of wood, with which one has given away especially in former times with pleasure cigarettes and cigars? They're still around today! And with them you can wonderfully pack your gift plastic-free. The boxes are usually made of wood and you can often get them for free in cigarette stores, for example. You can also design them any way you want for a truly unique gift wrapping.

10. use plastic free cardboard gift tags

Do you have a gift idea that could use a gift tag with a personal message? It is always recommended to make such things yourself. It makes your gift even more personal. For this, old cardboard boxes or packages are suitable, which you can attach to your gift with a plastic-free natural or raffia ribbon. In the meantime, you can also buy plastic-free gift tags online.


11. sustainable hemp / jute package tapes

As mentioned a few times, natural ribbons made of jute, wool or hemp are ideal for plastic-free gift wrapping. Hemp is a fast-growing environmentally friendly raw material. Bast ribbon, for example, also comes into question as an alternative. The natural ribbons are not only suitable for gifts, but also to send packages plastic-free or for decoration ideas and many more. Everything that you would normally glue, you can also hold together with the natural ribbons.

Plastic-free gift wrapping - sustainable gift giving
Simply tie gifts with a hand cord / Image Source: G2PLUS

12. use plastic free paper tape

You should definitely not use plastic tape for gift wrapping or for sending mail. There is a wonderful alternative for that: Paper tape. But beware: not all paper tape is the same. Some tapes still contain plastic threads to make the tape more tear-resistant. These tapes cause problems in recycling plants because they look like pure paper. Therefore, get pure paper tape, which is usually very light in color.

13. plastic free gift wrapping from sustainable paper

The wrapping paper is crucial for the look of your gift. Here, too, there are many sustainable alternatives to wrap your gift plastic-free! Newspaper is ideal for gift wrapping. It can look really cool. Especially if you decorate your gift with some natural material. If you cut out letters from the newspaper and use wrapping paper with natural color, you can also stick a message on the wrapping. Always try to use recycled scrap paper for your gift wrapping. Recycled paper is super sustainable because it doesn't require cutting down more trees. With the wrapping paper your sustainable gift is sure to arrive in the best possible way! TIP: Plastic-free gift bags also make a difference!

14. plastic free gift in glass

Of course, it all depends on what plastic-free gift idea you have now. Whether bath salts, sweets or other small gifts. Many things can also be given away wonderfully in a glass. This makes your gift sustainable and extraordinary and the jar can be wonderfully reused for storage in the kitchen. Really cool are also smaller canning jars that you can also reuse as drinking glasses. And you can even get canning jars that glow in the dark!

Wrap gifts sustainably - gifts without plastic
A solar lamp as a canning jar to fill / Image Source: Sonnenglas

15. wrap the gift in the gift

Avoiding plastic waste in this way is of course only possible if several gifts are not "too much" and the two gifts offer it by their shape. For example, if it's a housewarming gift, you can wrap the plastic-free kitchen gadgets in a new kitchen towel. But there are no limits to your imagination. Even if you are giving away clothing, you can use it to "wrap" other gifts. To keep the gift together, you can again work with natural ribbon. So you can wrap your gift plastic-free and score with sustainability.

So, do you have a plastic-free gift idea yet?

How you can wrap the gift plastic-free, you have learned now. Here in the Plastic free store you can still get a bit of inspiration for gift ideas and quickly find the right gift without plastic. If you have a cool gift idea that is not yet in the store, write me a comment under this post and I'll include it.

Best regards,

Plastic-free gift wrapping - sustainable gift giving!

PS.: If you don't have a gift yet, have a browse through the Gifts category in plastic free store. Have fun!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

7 thoughts on “Geschenke plastikfrei verpacken”

  1. Thank you for the interesting article. It is already quite important to rather do without plastic today. It also looks much nicer when you do without this plastic waste.
    With best regards

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