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. Most local recycling programs accept gift bags for parties and special occasions, provided they are 100% paper. Remove and discard the handles and any non-paper accessories.
Throw away metallic, aluminum, and mylar gift bags in the trash. 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.
If Christmas morning causes irreparable damage, throw them away and perhaps consider stronger gift bags for easy reuse in the future.