12 Days of Christmas Recycling
Christmas is a time for indulgence and swapping presents. We drink more, eat more and we get the gifts we longed for, but this means that we create so much more waste. From wine bottles, to cardboard boxes, fairy lights to food waste, our bins have their work cut out!
The festive rubbish facts
Every Christmas, 3 million tonnes of rubbish gets thrown away in the UK.
We send around 1 billion Christmas cards, roughly 17 per person.
We get through 750 million bottles and 500 million drinks cans over Christmas, which is 30% more than normal.
That is a lot of waste. So how can we cut down on waste this Christmas?
On the first day of Christmas
You can buy a real Christmas tree. After Christmas, you can take it to a local recycling centre where it will be shredded or composted and spread over local parks and other green spaces.
On the second day of Christmas
You are sensible and check your car battery before you set off on the road to visit the family. You can recycle any old batteries at your local recycling centre.
On the third day of Christmas
Buy some recycled Christmas cards. If you want to be even more green, you can go online and send an e-card. Christmas cards can either be put in your recycling bin (not if they have glitter or foil on though) or you can take them to a local recycling centre. Some stores, like Marks and Spencer and TK Maxx have collection points for Christmas cards. The Woodland Trust then plants new trees in return for the recycled cards. If you visit their website and tell them you’re going to recycle, you can even have a say on where the new trees are planted!
On the fourth day of Christmas
Recycle all the extra Christmas TV magazines and other supplements you get at this time of year. Five TV guides, anyone?
On the fifth day of Christmas
Once you have finished your jars of festive staples such as pickled onions and nuts, make sure they go in the recycling or reuse them.
On the sixth day of Christmas
If you need to invest in some new Christmas lights, don’t bin the old set. Take them to your local recycling centre.
On the seventh day of Christmas
If you’re thinking of binning old electrical items to make room for shiny new gifts, think again. Take them to a local recycling centre. Almost every material in electricals can be reused.
On the eighth day of Christmas
Christmas toys using up batteries faster than you can replace them? Don’t send old batteries to landfill as they contain hazardous material. Take them to a designated recycling centre.
On the ninth day of Christmas
Save your carrier bags for when you do the big Christmas shop. Always reuse or recycle them as they take about 1,000 years to degrade!
On the tenth day of Christmas
Be strict with your Christmas food shop to reduce waste. It’s tough when crafty retailers are tempting you at every turn with indulgent treats, but buy the foods that you know people will eat. Freeze leftovers and think about putting any waste you can’t freeze on a compost heap.
On the eleventh day of Christmas
When you’re wrapping presents, plan on reusing or recycling your wrapping paper. Try to use gift bags that can be reused instead of boxes where possible, but you can still set your cardboard boxes aside to be recycled. Take extra-large boxes to your local recycling centre.
On the twelfth day of Christmas
After all the partying is over, take your glass bottles to the recycling centre.
What else can you do?
Not every unwanted item needs to be recycled or thrown away. Reusing items is a great way of reducing waste. If you’re having a festive spring clean before your guests arrive or you receive a gift you don’t want, you can donate any unwanted items to charity.
Avoid a pile-up
Make sure you know when your bin is due to be collected over the holidays so your rubbish doesn’t pile up and reuse or recycle items where you can. Eat, drink and be green!