Tis’ the season to Recycle …

Christmas is a time for festivities, parties and family time. But with this comes extra waste.

Over the festive season the UK creates 30% more waste than usual.

Facts by the London Cleaning System show how Christmas can have a huge impact on the environment. Now there are pleas to help the environment, especially at Christmas by increasing recycling and being mindful of how we dispose of items.

Figures from Wrap estimate that the extra festive household waste created is equivalent to generating 1.4m tonnes of C02.

This is the same as producing enough energy to enable all households in Leeds and Doncaster to watch TV for a year.

Below are some key facts which highlight the waste of items in December:

  • 300,000 tonnes of card packaging is used at Christmas; enough to cover London’s famous landmark, Big Ben, almost 260,000 times.
  • 1 billion cards end up in the bin, when they could be recycled.
  • The amount of wrapping paper used for presents is enough to wrap around the equator 9 times.
  • 227,000 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away.
  • 6 million Christmas trees are discarded every year.
  • 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are thrown away after Christmas, when they could be used for compost.
  • Approximately 2 million turkeys, 74 million mince pies and 17.2 million Brussel sprouts are thrown away every Christmas.
  • 13,350 tonnes of glass are thrown out in the UK after Christmas.

So what can we do to help reduce the waste this December?

  • Christmas cards don’t have to be thrown out once December 26th comes along, try cutting them up and making gift tags out of them. (with an average of 17 cards in the UK for every man, woman and child, that’s a lot of trees saved)
  • Instead of chucking your real Christmas tree out – recycle it! It can be shredded and used as compost to help next year’s trees or as chipping to cover pathways.
  • We throw out approx. 7 million tonnes of food every year. If you have a compost bin in your garden you can throw all those veg peelings in.
  • Birds love Christmas leftovers too, any scraps of fruit cake and mince pies will go down a treat.


Let’s help the environment and recycle this Christmas!



BBC News

About the author

Jas Bagri

Jas is part of Biffa’s digital team, writing a diverse range of content on a number on industry topics. Jas’s favourite subject to write about is recycling, so look out for her handy tips coming your way!