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13 November 2014

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You are in: Shropshire > Nature > Environment > Recycling at Christmas

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Recycling at Christmas

Across Britain, we will create more than three million tonnes of rubbish this Christmas, everything from Christmas trees to food, cards, and bottles. Most of this can be recycled - much of it isn't.

Don't let Christmas cost the Earth

This Christmas, it's estimated that the amount of wrapping paper that'll be thrown away could stretch around the equator nine times or to the moon if each sheet was laid end to end. So how about recycling it with the rest of your paper (not the shiny or glittery stuff) or alternatively have a go at wrapping your presents Japanese-style.


Furoshiki: Japanese wrapping

  • Recycle your glass, tins, plastic, paper and cardboard. Rinse out your bottles and jars -  and not just your wine and beer bottles, you can also recycle your empty jars of mayonnaise, cranberry sauce and mince meat.
  • Wash and crush your tins (not aerosols) to reduce the space they take up. Place recyclables that will not fit into the boxes into carrier bags (not bin liners) by the side of the boxes - rather than overloading the containers.
  • Every year the UK throws out an estimated 4,500 tonnes of tin foil over the Christmas period. This is enough to cover around 1500 square miles - roughly the size of Suffolk! Take your clean, waste foil to a recycling bank or pop it in your kerbside collection box.
  • In the UK about 250 tonnes of Christmas trees, that could have been recycled, are thrown out. Recycle yours by putting it out with your garden waste or take it to your nearest household recycling centre. Alternatively, buy a living tree that can be planted in the garden when you've finished with it.
  • The Royal Mail will deliver about one billion Christmas cards in 2008. Do your bit by recycling them with your cardboard waste. Waste Initiatives Officer with Shropshire County Council, Joy Blizzard suggests using the Woodlands Trust scheme - as well as recycling Chrismas cards, money raised through this is used to plant more trees. You can drop off cards for the Woodlands Trust at Tesco, WH Smith or TK Maxx.
  • Alternatively, save some of the prettier cards and cut out the pictures - they make perfect gift tags for next year.
  • An estimated 500 tonnes of Christmas tree lights are discarded in the UK over the Christmas period. Even lights that are beyond repair can be recycled! Check whether your local authority waste collection site will accept them.
Recycling poster

Shropshire Waste Partnership poster

  • Try to minimise the amount of packaging purchased in the first place. Try buying loose fruit and vegetables, and meat and fish over the counter. Look for presents with minimal packaging. Re-use carrier bags or use the bag for life schemes operated by most supermarkets.
  • Buy local – food, crafts and Christmas trees etc. It helps Shropshire's economy and fewer miles make it better for the environment.
  • If you make too much food over Christmas don't throw it away! Pop it in a container in the fridge or freezer and eat at a later date. How about Christmas Pudding Ice Cream, Cranberry Brownies or how about making Bubble and Squeak with your leftover brussel sprouts, cabbage and parsnips. 

last updated: 19/12/2008 at 11:34
created: 12/12/2005

You are in: Shropshire > Nature > Environment > Recycling at Christmas

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