We all know that Christmas is a time of celebration, but it’s also a time of excess—and not just when it comes to the food. From wrapping paper and cards to food waste, there are plenty of ways Christmas can end up being more than you bargained for!
Here are our top tips for reducing waste this Christmas:
-Pack your presents in reusable bags and boxes.
-Buy only what you need. Try to limit the number of gifts you give.
-Reuse gift bags from previous years.
-Buy presents that are reusable, such as books.
-Try to buy locally produced items and avoid imported ones.
-Choose a gift that can be used for longer than just one year—such as a subscription to an online service like Netflix or Spotify.
Is wrapping paper sustainable?
On average in the UK we throw away 81 sq ft of wrapping paper per person every year
You can make your Christmas wrapping paper last longer by reusing it.
If you’re going to recycle them, take off any ribbons or bows before you put them in the recycling bin. The ribbon is usually made from plastic and can’t be recycled easily, so separate it from the rest of your waste as soon as possible.
There are some charities that accept old wrapping paper each year and reuse it to make new presents for people who need them.
More than 60 million rolls of wrap are used every year, each roll is about 40 metres long!
Wrap is made from a type of plastic called polyethylene, which is also used in the manufacture of carrier bags. The same chemical properties that make this plastic strong and durable also make it impossible to recycle (although some types of wrap can be recycled with other plastics). Polyethylene is not biodegradable, so even if you do use your wrapping carefully and thoroughly – either by burning it or sending it for recycling – it won’t decompose when put in landfill.
What about Christmas cards?
Sending Christmas cards is a tradition that has been in place for over 200 years. It allows people to send wishes of goodwill and good cheer to friends and family members, as well as people they don’t like very much.
However, many people do not realise the environmental impact of this seemingly harmless activity. The average Christmas card costs £2, which is more than twice the price of making it yourself (by cutting out pictures from magazines). Each year we send 2.65 billion Christmas cards, enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall 500 times over! Instead of sending a card this Christmas why not make a personalised video message instead? You can record it on your phone, use filters and the personal touch would be great for family members and friends.
So, next time you’re thinking about buying more food than you need for Christmas dinner and then throwing it away, or purchasing a bumper pack of Christmas cards and think again! It’s not only bad for your wallet but also bad for the environment; every little helps when it comes to tackling food waste. At WasteOnline we are very passionate about reducing the amount of waste that arrives at landfill, that is why we only work with fully registered and licenced waste carriers. Once your hired skip or rubbish removal van has been filled, your waste is taken to a recycling facility for processing.
We aim for a recycling rate of over 95% wherever possible.