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wrapping paper

Research shows Brits are dreaming of a Green Christmas

Posted in Recycling
On 17 Dec 2019
By Fran Morrissy

Christmas is a time for festivities, parties and family time. But what about all the extra waste generated?

Despite the fact that the UK creates 30% more waste than usual, research suggests that Brits are still dreaming of a green Christmas. 

A survey from Biffa, has shown that 68 per cent of Brits will up their recycling efforts during the festive season by buying gifts made from recycled materials or containing less plastic packaging.

  • 70% of Brits are going green at Christmas thanks to increased awareness of global issues
  • 277,000 miles of wrapping paper will go to waste over the holidays
  • 87% of us want to see brands take more producer responsibility

Almost 70 per cent of Brits will have a greener Christmas, thanks to the media spotlight being shone on global recycling issues throughout the year.

The Christmas period is set to see a whole lot go to waste in the UK, including around 277,000 miles of wrapping paper, up to 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies.

A quarter of households also predict they will throw away at least five bags of waste this Christmas, which 95 per cent vow to segregate so it can be disposed of responsibly.

christmas infographic

The uplift in media mentions of recycling and the subsequent public awareness has had a noticeable impact on our behaviour in the UK, with 65 per cent citing it as the reason for their increased conscience this Christmas. 40 per cent said they felt guilty about how much waste our festivities will produce.

A demand for greater retailer and brand responsibility has also been revealed, with 87 per cent of us wanting to see retailers reduce product packaging in the New Year in order to tackle the issue at the source and prevent the creation of unnecessary, hard to dispose of waste.

Those not planning to go green this Christmas have cited time constraints, being confused about what to recycle, and the sheer volume of rubbish created as reasons to chuck everything into general waste.

Despite the nation’s best efforts, there is still likely to be high quantities of food thrown in the bin this Christmas.

In fact, over half of Brits plan to dispose of their leftover Christmas dinners properly for collection, but almost a fifth (16 per cent) said that they wouldn’t bother despite having a separate food bin at home.

christmas infographic

If disposed of correctly, food waste can be anaerobically digested and used to power our homes – making it an invaluable energy source in the UK.

About the author

image of fran tansley

Fran Morrissy

Fran is Head of Brand & PR here at Biffa. She's particularly passionate about our safety initiatives, so keep a look out for her updates on these campaigns.