Recycling Dos And Don’ts For The Festive Season

Did you know… a whopping three million tonnes of waste is produced in the UK over the festive season? You don’t need us to tell you that is a LOT.

However, while over half of Brits say that recycling is very important to them, there is still uncertainty about what can and can’t be recycled.

“This Christmas we will once again send the weight of 3.3 million penguins in plastic to landfill as well as 108 million rolls of wrapping paper,” said Mark Hall, a waste management specialist. “This shocking amount of waste is largely due to the fact that the majority of standard wrapping paper has high plastic, glitter and foil content, meaning it cannot be recycled,” he said.

“At Christmas time, it’s more important than ever that we all play our part in reducing our carbon footprint,” says Paul McFadyen, Managing Director of an online metals company metals4U, “and it’s good to see that the majority of people are on board when it comes to recycling. However there are still many that don’t see it as important,” he said.

The company carried out research by polling 2,000 adults on recycling, and found the following:

  • 52% of people said that recycling is very important to them.
  • 35% saying local councils should be doing more.

At Christmas there is a 30% increase in the number of bottles and cans being thrown away, so it’s crucial people understand what they can recycle to reduce their environmental impact while celebrating the festive season.

“By understanding what we can and can’t recycle at Christmas, and working together with local authorities, and government, we can all do our bit to ensure that recycling continues to be effective,” McFadyen said. Here’s an overview of what you can and can’t recycle over Christmas:


What you CAN’T recycle

  1. Christmas wrapping paper generally can’t be recycled as it’s often laminated with plastic, foil or other non-paper materials. And don’t forget, it’s also likely to have sellotape on it, on which is non-recyclable.
  1. You can’t recycle anything with glitter on it, which means a lot of Christmas cards and gift tags can’t be recycled, and should go in the general waste bin.
  1. Whether they’re glass or plastic, baubles and tinsel can’t be recycled either.


What you CAN recycle

  1. Data shows that we use around 300,000 tonnes of card packaging every Christmas, which is enough to cover Big Ben 260,000 times! Get your cardboard boxes in the recycling bin this Christmas!
  1. If you have a real Christmas tree, this can be turned into wood chippings, and lots of local councils advertise pick-up dates in early January—check out your local council’s website.
  1. As long as they don’t have glitter or glue on them and aren’t plastic, then Christmas wreaths can go into your garden waste bin after the festive period.

And don’t forget, when it comes to broken or unwanted fairy lights these should not go in the general waste either. Electrical items should be taken to a recycling centre so they can be disposed of properly.

For information about waste management services or waste management rotary screening, get in touch with us today.