This week at Enviro Waste, we’ve uncovered some Christmas waste statistics, and they don’t make for comforting reading! We’ve amassed the most shocking figures here for you, as well as a few tips and tricks to help make your festive season a little more eco-friendly.
– Royal Mail delivers around 150 million cards and packets during the pre-Christmas period. It’s estimated that 1 billion Christmas cards could end up in the bin after December 25th.
– 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper will be thrown out or burnt – enough to gift-wrap the island of Jersey! Now there’s a Christmas gift with a difference…
– 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown out, rather than recycled.
– Six million trees are thrown out after Christmas, creating more than 9,000 tonnes of additional waste. That’s about five times the weight of the London Eye! (independent.co.uk)
– Not even your beloved turkey is safe from scary waste stats. This Christmas we’ll cook around 6,711 tonnes of fresh turkey, and 12,472 tonnes of frozen turkey. That’s almost 20,000 tonnes of meat!
– And of course, the turkey needs wrapping too – around 4,200 tonnes of aluminium foil gets thrown away every Christmas in the UK.
Now that we’ve thoroughly ruined Christmas for eco-warriors, it’s time for the good news: there are ways in which homes and businesses can enjoy a Christmas without excessive waste. Take a look at these Christmas recycling tips from our team at Enviro Waste.
1. Wrapping Paper
The Christmas period will see households overcome with reams of wrapping paper – the amount of wrapping paper thrown away in the UK alone would stretch to the moon (gov.uk) – but instead of dumping it all in the bin, breathe new life into your discarded gift wrapping. Shred the paper to use as protective packaging around future gifts, or use it as a cleaning cloth for windows and mirrors, to get them streak-free!
2. Christmas Cards
Cut out the pattern on your Christmas cards to use as gift tags on your presents next year, rather than simply heading straight for the paper recycling bin. You can also keep a stash of Christmas cards to help out with craft projects – the thickness of the cards is great for art homework or just filling time on a rainy Sunday. You could even turn your old cards into baubles or Christmas decorations for next year!
3. Christmas Trees
Recycling Christmas trees is a tough one, but there are a few solutions. Many council-run tips shred used Christmas trees to make ground-cover that is used in public parks. If you can’t get to the tip with your tree, see if your local council do a collection service. You could even strip the branches yourself and use the pine needles as unique potpourri!
There are endless ways in which you can use up your leftover turkey (not just turkey sandwiches until January!). Use larger lumps in a curry with parsnips or chickpeas, and use smaller strips in a tasty risotto, great for dinner parties and family gatherings. You can also make a stock with the bones and leftovers which is fantastic for winter stews and soups.
These easy recycling methods can apply to businesses as well as homes – you could even encourage employees to bring in their Christmas cards and wrapping for a company-wide recycling drive in January.
In addition to our office clearance services in London, we here at Enviro Waste will ensure your Christmas tree and Christmas cards are responsibly disposed of with our paper recycling and domestic waste removal services in London. Simply contact us for guaranteed next day clearance if you call before 12pm.
Have you got any interesting recycling methods that we could use at Christmas? Let us know in the comments!