Festive facts and tips about waste and recycling

Spare a thought for those who have to deal with the additional waste we produce in the UK over the Christmas period – it’s thought to be 30% more each year. Up and down the country, there are Presona balers and conveyors working hard to deal with it all!

It is estimated that 226,800 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away – that’s enough to wrap around the world 9 times.

The packaging from 10 million Christmas Turkeys will be thrown away, but if you think that’s a lot; 25 million Christmas pudding packages are thrown away! 6 million Christmas trees are also thrown away, creating 250 tonnes of additional waste.

On average, everyone in the UK sends/receives 17 Christmas cards per year (you’re either feeling incredibly popular or unpopular now!), which is of 1 billion cards in total and the equivalent of 33 million trees. 300,000 tonnes of card and packaging is used which is equal to 103 return trips to Lapland from London! According to the Carbon Trust, the Christmas cards we send each year costs us 280 million tonnes of carbon.

In 2014, 400,000 tonnes of both paper and card packaging was not collected from UK households, even though they could have been recycled. One tonne of recycled paper would save 17 trees, almost 1.7 sq. m. of landfill space and a massive 4,000 kW of electricity.

How to help

So, this Christmas, and those to come in future of course, think about how you can recycle more:

· Use your household recycling services from your local council for recycling paper and card, and sometimes real Christmas trees. Otherwise, you can visit your local recycling centre.

· Flatten cardboard boxes, paper and containers to save space at home and in your recycling bins.

· Re-purpose Christmas cards and make gift tags for next year if you’re creative.

· Source 100% recycled wrapping paper and Christmas cards, or use brown paper and string to wrap gifts, with brown luggage labels, adding some stamps or ribbon to make it festive.

Whilst glitter won’t affect our incredible Swedish engineered machinery, do remove non-recyclable items such as ribbons, foil or anything with glitter as these can clog up some machines and contaminate the recycled materials which then makes it unsellable.

If you’ve brought a real Christmas tree, you are not alone. Around 6 million Christmas trees are sold in Britain every year, the Local Government Association estimates that the cost of landfilling them would be approximately £13.9 million. Luckily there are lots of ways to dispose of your tree that’s kind to the environment.

Recycle – Local authorities, garden centres and community groups offer easy recycling options. All you have to do is remove decorations and free it from its pot or stand and follow the instructions on how it will be collected or if you need to drop it off.

Replant – If your tree still has a root ball, you can plant it in your garden to admire all year round.

Repurpose – If you fancy being a bit crafty, you can use parts of your tree to create something new • you can use a saw to create rustic coasters from the trunk of your tree • by harvesting the branches of your pine tree, you could make scented sachets for drawers and wardrobes

Did you know, that 80% of packaging for toys is made from paper and card which are both fully recyclable?

See a world this Christmas where recycling just works!

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