Christmas: It’s the most ‘wasteful’ time of the year

Christmas: It’s the most ‘wasteful’ time of the year

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go!

Christmas trees are sparkling, the high streets are heaving and Christmas songs are hitting the airwaves. As some Christmas trivia, did you know that the Christmas period typically produces the highest quantity of waste? Every Christmas as much as 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper ends up in rubbish bins throughout the UK, that’s the equivalent of 11,624 football pitches!
Our enthusiasm for everything Christmas often results in an excessive generation of waste materials. But just because you’re off for the Christmas period, doesn’t mean you can’t recycle! With the festive season being just as much about giving as receiving, we’re sharing with you our three tips on how you can recycle better over the festive period.
1. Choose the right wrapping paper
When it comes to unwrapping presents there are two stereotypes; the shredders and the re-users:
The Re-users – The pre-planners who take pride in carefully unwrapping their presents, with the notion that the wrapping paper will be reused next Christmas
The Shredders – The impatient characters that simply can’t contain their excitement to find out what’s inside, ripping apart every layer of wrapping paper sat in front of them in a matter of seconds.For the shredders, wrapping paper can still be recyclable but unfortunately certain materials make it difficult for machinery to process, so consider these:
For the shredders, wrapping paper can still be recyclable but unfortunately certain materials make it difficult for machinery to process, so consider these:
Materials that make wrapping paper recyclable:
- Plain, paper-based wrapping that has all bows, ribbons, and sticky tape removed
- Attached paper-based greeting cards can still be recycled
Materials that makes wrapping paper non-recyclable:
- Wrapping paper that’s dyed, laminated and/or contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloured shapes, glitter and plastics
- Sticky tape – ribbons make a stylish and easily removable alternative
- For the re-users, we salute you, you’re benefitting financially and environmentally by saving money on new wrapping paper and minimising waste.
2. Plastic, Glass and Tin bottles/Cans
We all love a beverage during the festive season; Christmas wouldn’t have the same “spirit” without a festive glass of mulled wine, 2L plastic bottle of your favourite mixer to match the spirit of your choice and/or a can of coke (for the kids). Interestingly though, there’s one thing these drink containers have in common;theycan either be recycled or reused. Once used, dispose of your drinks containers in the correct recycling bins. Ensure cans and plastic bottles are squashed to maximise capacity.As for glass, remove any lids or caps, and rinse all bottles and jars. Additionally, we suggest investing in a can and/or plastics crusher. These are ideal for both at home, schools and work environments, offering many benefits including a more efficient recycling process and a fun tool to help educate and get children involved with recycling.
3. Finally what to do with the food leftovers
From platefuls of roasted potatoes, stuffing and succulent turkey soaked in rich gravy to brandy infused, custard coated Christmas pudding; Christmas is renowned for being a festive feast. Consequentlythough, vast quantities of food often results in platefuls of leftovers being wasted. In fact last year’s figures, based on research by Unilever, stated that nearly 10% of every festive meal is thrown away, equating to an incredible £64 million food wastage. With that in mind, we’ve teamed up with Andigestion, who handle food waste within the Gloucestershire area. Between us we have some further suggestions on minimising your food wastage this Christmas:
- Re-use your ingredients, there are thousands of recipes out there - the turkey, cranberry and stuffing sandwich on Boxing Day is a personal favourite of ours!
- Freeze your leftovers – turkey,hamand gravy lasts 2-3 months.
- Dispose of your vegetable peelings in the compost as it provides nutritious and rich ingredients for the garden.
- Plan your meals and consider your portion sizes over the Christmas period -The Love Food Waste - Portion Planner is a fabulous tool to help control your portion sizes.
So there we have it, that’s our three top tips on how to be more environmentally friendly over the Christmas season. For more information on your Christmas recycling, feel free to call us on 01242 588600.
From all of us at Printwaste Recycling and Shredding, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!