Environment

Public urged to consider waste and recycling over Christmas period

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The amount of wrapping paper thrown away at Christmas in the UK alone would stretch to the moon, according to the government-backed Waste and Resource Action Programme (Wrap). The public are being asked to consider the impact their waste will have.

Wrap added that the UK now recycles more than it sends to landfill, and urged the public to continue their efforts over the festive period.

Figures show that around 1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away each year, along with 250 tonnes of Christmas trees and 13,350 tonnes of glass. Recycling the glass alone would save the carbon equivalent of taking 1,300 cars off the road. Wrap has also released some tips to help consumers have a greener Christmas, which were detailed in a recent infographic.

Waste minister Dan Rogerson said, “This Christmas, Britain will generate millions of tonnes of rubbish and it doesn’t need to end up in landfill. Recycling is a simple way to save resources. It’s easier than ever before for people to do their bit over the holidays and to help make a real difference to the environment.”

Using local recycling points, kerbside collection schemes and checking available schemes for recycling real Christmas trees are all simple ways consumers can have a positive impact.

Louise Bowe, from Wrap’s recycling campaign, Recycle Now, added, “It’s really quick and easy to check what can be recycled where you live – just pop your postcode into www.recyclenow.com or check your local council website.

“The materials we recycle have real value – take a look at the Recycle Now to see how your rubbish gets turned into new things.”

Food waste is also a problem over the festive period, with around 230,000 tonnes of food going in the bin – enough to feed the German population for a day. Wrap has urged consumers to only buy what they need and to avoid buying large packaged products.

Further reading:

Christmas waste: 6 obscene facts you didn’t know

Green Investment Bank launches waste-based energy project

Carbon Trust says engaging workers on energy and waste could save UK £300m

Investing in recycling? Then come to Britain

Toxic waste a health threat to 200m people, says report

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