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Recycling Responsibly at Christmas

December 1, 2020
Carla Lin

The list of things you can and can't recycle can feel more complex than quantum physics. We have come up with a super easy guide to recycling and waste management during the festive period!

Items that can be recycled or repurposed:

Packaging: cardboard boxes, gift bags, wrapping paper, and shoe boxes. Send them all to the blue bin or repurpose them at home! You never know when a cardboard box will come in handy. (Shiny or foil based wrapping paper cannot be recycled, the rule is, if you scrunch it up and it doesn't stay scrunched up, it doesn't belong in the recycling bin...yet!)

Gifts you received but don't like. Don't throw them away, try to sell any unwanted items on Ebay or Depop. You can even rent your designer clothes on HURR for an eco-friendly side hustle.

Real Christmas trees. These can be turned into wood chippings, check if your local council has a designated 'Christmas tree collection' day or take them to your nearest recycling centre. (Don't forget to take off any rogue decorations and stands)

Christmas Cards. When is the right time to recycle your Christmas cards? We would say, when the tree goes, the cards go too.

Christmas decorations. Send these off to your local charity store, they could be the missing piece to someone else's perfect tree.

Batteries. These can be recycled at any medium-large sized supermarket that sells batteries.

If you're in doubt, check what can and can't be recycled in your postcode here: https://www.recyclenow.com/local-recycling?rlw-initial-path=local-authority/search

6 Tips on a more eco-friendly Christmas:

1. Give people your wish list, if you receive presents you actually love, you're less likely to throw them away. Vice versa, ask people what they really want, we're all guilty of giving random presents for the sake of it...

2. Cook less food! There are only so many plates of leftovers you can have before enough if enough. In 2017 2 million turkeys and 17 million brussels sprouts were thrown out.

3. Do your research. Give gifts that come from small - independent businesses or that are sustainably sourced.

4. See WWF's Christmas gift guide, your purchases will help to save animals from extinction.

5. Invest in a reusable advent calendar. Hide chocolate, kind notes, plant seeds, and more in them for the ultimate personalisation.

6. Send exciting interactive e-Christmas cards, we love the ones from Paperless Post

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Together we can wash our way to a cleaner, eco-friendly future.