Crack(er)ing down on Christmas Waste
Reports are showing how recycling rates in the UK have dropped for the first time since 2010. In England from 2014-2015, rates fell from 44.8% to 43.9%.
Christmas can be a busy time of year, and often thoughts of bins and recycling go to the back of our minds. However, Christmas is also a time where the amount of waste we produce increases, with cards, wrapping paper, trees and boxes that all need to be disposed of. Therefore it is crucial that we do our best during the festive season to recycle as much as we can to reduce the amount of waste that gets sent to landfill, and possibly even raise some money for charity. Here are some tips and small changes we can all make to make our Christmas the greenest ever!
Many councils now accept cards and wrapping paper with kerbside recycling (but please be careful, some plastic coated or foiled lined paper, or plastic parts on cards cannot be recycled, please check for specific criteria with your local council). Additionally, many high street shops and supermarkets run card recycling schemes after Christmas, so keep an eye out for those. Alternatively, you could use the cards and wrapping paper for arts and craft projects throughout the year, or save them and see if any children’s clubs can make use of them when making cards or decorations for next Christmas!
Boxes and Packaging
Cardboard Boxes and plastic packaging is often accepted with your kerbside collection. Alternatively, if you are very fortunate and have a lot of packaging to recycle, you can take it to your local Recycling Centre!
If you have a real tree, you may be able to put it with your garden waste recycling, or take it to your local recycling centre. Sometimes waste companies operate charity collections, this should be detailed on your local council website, so please check this for specific details.
If you have a fake tree that you wish to dispose of, please consider taking it to a charity shop if it is still in good condition.
You can take apart your advent calendar once you have opened all the windows, and you will often find that most parts can be recycled. The cardboard outer and the plastic inner can be placed with your local council recycling.
Waste food is a big problem, especially at Christmas time. Often people cook far too much food and this results in a lot of food being put in the bin. The best thing you can do is to plan ahead, work out how much food you will need and if you do make too much food, use the internet to find some new recipes to use up all your leftovers!
In the UK, people eat an average of 27 mince pies each over the festive period. As each of these come with a small foil tray, and these total to a lot of aluminium thrown away. So please, make sure they are clean and recycle them!
So it’s Christmas, and you drank a bit. Well, a lot… But don’t be ashamed to put your bottles in the recycling for fear of judgement, it’s a time for celebration and you had the family round, at least you are doing your bit for the environment! If you really don’t want your neighbours to know how much fun you’ve been having, you can always take them to a bottle bank or to your local recycling centre and wear a hat!
So from us here at E4environment – Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years recycling all your good times!