Make Recycling your New Year Resolution
As well as cheer and glad tidings, if there’s anything else the festive season is guaranteed to bring, it’s mountains of waste. From wrapping paper, Christmas cards, food waste, packaging and of course Christmas trees, it is estimated that the amount of rubbish generated in the UK over the festive period is a massive 3 million tones.
The message from Clearaway Recycling & Waste Management is for families and individuals to think about recycling and waste this Christmas and New Year in order to divert as much waste as possible away from landfill. Our festive recycling advice is worth making a resolution about.
It’s a wrap – when it comes to wrapping paper, try and contain yourself and instead of ripping off the paper, neatly unpack each present with the aim of re-using the wrapping paper to wrap another gift. Paper is recycled to make into other items, although wrapping paper cannot be recycled due to the fact that much has glitter and embossing added, so re-using it is a better option.
Tag it– re-use last year’s Christmas cards as tags for this year’s gifts. Cut off the side with the writing and work wonders with a pair of pinking shears! Save cards to make next year’s tags and recycle the remains of your cards and all the envelopes.
Pack it – save all the cardboard box packaging and flatten it to send out to recycle. The cardboard is treated the same way as normal (not wrapping) paper and sent to mills to be recycled into cardboard.
Tasty – it is well documented that in the UK we waste one third of the food we buy, and at Christmas with so much more food around, wastage can be even higher. Try to shop sensibly and cook up a storm with those leftovers to avoid waste! Lots of possibilities are available for recycling of food waste into compost and energy can be created from the by production process.
Tree time – once the season comes to an end, think responsibly about how you dispose of your real Christmas tree. Real trees can be sent for composting or, think about getting a tree with roots that you can plant in the garden to re-use next year.
Make it your business – in the workplace too, think about festive recycling. Corporate Christmas cards can be recycled not just binned. Encourage staff to think about mixed recycling in the office: for example keeping different types of waste separate, paper, drink cans, bottles and food waste amongst others. Recycle your Secret Santa wrapping paper too!
Festive Recycling Facts
- One billion Christmas cards (17 for every man, woman and child) could end up in bins across the UK this year. One tree is needed to make about 3,000 cards.
- Nearly 3,000 tonnes of aluminium foil will be used to wrap UK Christmas turkeys.
- In the UK we use around 227,000 milesof Christmas wrapping paper, that’s enough to stretch nearly all the way to the moon.
- We will use about 8 million Christmas trees, most of which will be thrown away in January, generating over 12,000 tonnes of rubbish.
- We could use an extra 750 million bottles and glass containers, and 500 million drinks cans. About 20% to 30% more glass and cans are collected each year over the Christmas period.