Christmas can generate a lot of waste and it is estimated that over the Christmas holiday, the UK produces 30 per cent more waste than usual.
With greeting cards, plastic decorations and unwanted gifts all creating a massive amount of waste, the real cost of a Merry Christmas can be devastating for the environment.
Councillor Roy Galley, cabinet member for waste management at Wealden District Council, said, “Packaging and wrapping may add to the excitement of Christmas but they add to a growing burden of waste after it.
“By thinking ahead, we can hopefully reduce the amount of waste we will leave behind not just after Christmas, but for future generations.”
Ten top tips for reducing Christmas waste are:
• Send electronic cards.Many charities now do them. You can make your own by using family pictures or even sending a festive video message. For the cards that you receive, why not turn them into next year’s gift tags.
• Rethink wrapping. Most shiny metallic or glossy wrapping paper can’t be recycled. If in doubt, test it out with the scrunch test - if you literally scrunch the paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, it can be put into the recycling. Brown parcel paper or even old newspapers, magazines and comics make a great alternative. Use string or ribbons to decorate.
• Make memories by giving concert tickets, meals out or a spa day.
• Make your own gifts and decorations.
• Only buy the food you need. The amount of perfectly good food that is thrown away because of over-buying is staggering. Make a list before you head out to the shops and make sure to stick to it. To cut down on packaging waste, try to buy your fruit and vegetables loose and don’t forget to take your own bag.
• Re-gift unwanted presents or donate them to a charity shop.
• Instead of throwing away your vegetable peelings, turn them into compost.
• It’s easy to recycle your real tree in Wealden. Just cut it up and place it in your brown bin or leave it in manageable chunks (less than four feet tall) next to your brown bin. Alternatively you can take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Site.
Visit www.wealden.gov.uk/recycling for recycling tips.