Get your recycling all wrapped up
Now that the Christmas mayhem is behind us, we bet there’s a fair amount of packaging lying around your house. In fact, last Christmas in the UK we consumed close to 300,000 tonnes of card packaging alone. That’s enough to cover the Millennium Stadium pitch nearly 140,000 times!
Whatever you don’t plan on reusing next year (check our reuse guide for inspiration) should be recycled so as not to waste all the materials and resources that went into making it. Have a look at this nifty video to see just how your paper is recycled:
Hark! I better recycle, but I’m not sure what’s right…
Here are some top tips from Recycle Now for recycling commonly wasted paper and card at Christmas in the right way:
- Christmas cards that don’t have glitter on are recyclable (glitter causes issues in the recycling process as it can’t be removed). So remember to tear off any glitter sections or non-paper items like badges and batteries.
- You can also use the front of Christmas cards to make gift tags for next year.
- With wrapping paper and gift bags there is the super handy scrunch test: if you scrunch it and it doesn’t spring back, then it can be recycled – sorted!
- Cardboard packaging, including that from online shopping, can be recycled. Simply flatten to save space and remove any plastic or polystyrene. If possible don’t leave it out in the rain– if cardboard is wet then mould sets in meaning it can’t be recycled.
Check out the Scrunch Test here:
Eat, drink and recycle merry
- Food and drink cartons – such as those for custard and orange juice – need only a quick rinse. Handy tip: flattening takes up to a third less space in your recycling bin.
- Once you’re done stuffing your face with Christmas pud don’t forget that the card sleeve it came in can be recycled.
- When the epic kitchen clean-up is done, remember those dishwasher tablet boxes can be put in with your recycling.
- For more ideas on what to do with all that leftover food, check out our Top 10 Tips.
What about my tree and all those lights?
Real Christmas trees are usually shredded into chippings that are then used locally as mulch in parks or woodland areas. Many of our boroughs will collect these in January and pulp them, but please click on your local council website for details: Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow or Richmond.
For those lights that may have blown out or are too fiddly we have a number of electrical collection events coming up. Bring us any electronic items you no longer want – although please nothing that can’t fit in a carrier bag – and we’ll recycle it for you. Check our events section to find out when we’ll be near you.
We hope you’re now fully equipped to get all your recycling sorted before the new year!