Ten ideas to reduce Christmas waste

The Huffpost reported that "Britons will use enough wrapping paper this Christmas to cover Brighton and Hove"

"Use less and recycle more" is the message coming out of a recent report by several environmental and animal charities

Waste facts:

  • Around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled - which is more than the weight of 3.3 million Emperor penguins.
  • Around 88-square-kms of wrapping paper is likely to be used - enough to cover either Brighton and Hove, Coventry, Newport, Preston, Reading, Sunderland or Swansea. 
  • The UK uses 300,000 tonnes of card packaging at Christmas - the equivalent weight of two million reindeer. 
  • The total waste created in the UK this Christmas from food and drink, packaging, wrapping paper, cards, Christmas trees and other rubbish is likely to exceed five million tonnes - equivalent to around 450,000 double-decker buses. 

Single use plastic packaging is great for the use intended as it is durable and light. The issue comes when it is discarded irresponsibly into our rivers and oceans.

So what can we do?

Recycling plastic

When it comes to plastic we need to build awareness that waste plastic has a value. It is all too easy to shed a negative light on plastic but when disposed of properly, plastic can be recycled into a number of useful products:

  • Picnic tables
  • Playground equipment
  • Benches
  • Insulation for sleeping bags

Did you know it takes about 10 bottles to make enough plastic fibre to make a cool new t-shirt?

Recycle your Plastic have this great article to show you just what can be made out of plastic waste when recycled responsibly.

Related article: https://www.recycleyourplastics.org/consumers/kids-recycling/plastics-can-become/

Recycling paper

It can be a common misconception that all wrapping paper can be recycled right? Wrong, some wrapping paper is not accepted at recycling centres due to the dyes, additives, glitters and sometimes plastics contained within them.  So what can you do?

We have been scouring the internet and found these 10 great ways to recycle paper, wrapping and even wallpaper coverings:

  • Protect school books and notepads by covering them with left over paper. There are lots of ideas to funk up your jotter online, here is a simple tutorial to show you how it is done 
  • Bunting is a big thing right now; make your own with wrapping paper, cereal boxes and a few bits and pieces – here is a helpful tutorial from Centsational Style 
bunting made from recycled wrapping paper
bunting made from recycled wrapping paper
bunting made from recycled wrapping paper
  • Packaging use the wrapping paper as a protective layer when packaging items to send
  • Drawer liner protect the bottom of drawers (and add a little bit of interest) by lining the bottom with some nice paper
  • Placemats if you own (or can borrow) a laminator, laminate some A3 or A4 rectangles of wrapping paper and use as placemats – kids will love them!
  • Create bows now this one is for the craftier individual; make bows from strips of wrapping paper for future presents. This tutorial from 100 Layer Cake shows you how
  • Frame it do you really love a certain design or pattern? Frame it in a simple picture frame and hang it proudly in your home
  • Greeting cards cut different shapes or images from the paper and make greeting cards for any occasion - here are some of our favorite we found online:
Homemade-Christmas-Cards-1
homemade christmas card 2
homemade christmas card 3
  • Parcel tags – Why buy parcel tags each year when you can make your own? this YouTube tutorial will give you some great ideas
  • Burn it – Do you have a log burner or fire at work or home? Keep all your waste paper and use it along with your wood kindle to start your fire.

So there you have 10 easy idea’s to help reduce paper waste this festive season.

When you unwrap your present this year bear in mind what little projects you could plan for the new year ahead

Do you have any fun idea's to reduce waste and recycle?

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