Paper gift bags can be put in the recycling bin. However, gift bags made with plastic or cloth must be reused because they can't go to the curbside bin. If your paper gift bag has rope handles, glitter, or beads, you should remove them before placing them in the recycling bin. The requirements for recycling gift bags are similar to those for paper.
Plain paper bags can be put in the recycling bin, but not bags made with plastic, aluminum foil or cloth, according to Brock and the American Forest and Paper Association. Avoid wrapping paper and gift bags with metallic, aluminum or shiny elements, as they cannot be recycled. Plain paper bags can be put in the recycling bin, however, bags made with plastic, aluminum foil or cloth cannot be placed. If Christmas morning causes irreparable damage, throw them away and perhaps consider stronger gift bags for easy reuse in the future.