According to the British Coating Federation, 39 million rolls of wallpaper were made within the UK in 2018. That's approximately 390 million metres of paper, but many people are unaware that most wallpaper, both used and unused cannot be recycled.
Due to the high concentration of synthetic inks, dyes and coatings, it is not possible to simply place used wallpaper or offcuts in the recycle bin. Additionally, regular wallpaper paste adds to the synthetic ingredients.
Depending on the type of paper it might not be necessary to strip the paper when re-decorating. You may be able to paint over it. Try a small area, behind some furniture, to see if the paper will take emulsion. Fill and gently sand any gaps or overlaps in the seams. Apply a primer, as moisture from standard paint, can often loosen wallpaper adhesive and cause bubbles.
Once prepared you are free to paint a plain colour, or stencil if you prefer a patterned wall. You can even stencil on textured paper, but choose a loose cut design like Vintage Lace, or a Floral design rather than geometric patterns, which require a very flat wall.
If you do need to strip the paper, reduce the volume of waste by folding the paper rather than scrunching it up. Small amounts can be placed in your residual waste bin, but if you have large amounts, take the paper to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre.
What about the off-cuts?
Don't bin them! The off-cuts can be used in several creative ways, from wrapping paper and bows to creative pieces of art.
Or maybe a local artist can make use of your off-cuts, or perhaps your local school?
Take a look at The Shabby Chic Guru for some creative uses of wallpaper. We love the lampshades and they are so easy to make with a lampshade kit, or consider lining some drawers to match your room decor.