Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the festive season is also a period when we produce extra household waste thanks to the multitude of gifts and the delicious food we all enjoy.
Local people are therefore encouraged to do their bit for the environment and have a green Christmas this year.
The average UK household spends more than £700 at Christmas and as much as £200 of that is spent on food and drink. But the good news is that by following a few tips you can make sure you have a green and sustainable festive season:
- A staggering 300,000 tonnes of card is used in UK households during Christmas and card packaging used over this time could cover Big Ben almost 260,000 times. So why not think of the environment this year and send e-cards to friends and relatives instead?
- Remove ribbons, bows and other adornments before recycling wrapping paper – or even better, save that wrapping paper to be re-used next year
- Flatten cardboard boxes before recycling to save room in your bag or wheelie bin. You can also drop items to your local recycling centre to save space over Christmas
- Make sure all food is rinsed out of plastic packaging before recycling to avoid contamination
- Keep card or paper packaging with glitter out of the recycling bags and wheelie bins as it is not recyclable
- The scrunch test is a really good way to tell if a material can be recycled – scrunch it up and if it stays that way it is recyclable (a good example is newspaper or tin foil), if it reshapes then it isn’t (crisp packets and chocolate wrappers)
- Think green when decorating your tree – choose decorations that can be reused rather than flimsy ones that will be used once and thrown away and use energy efficient lights where possible
- Buy drinks, like lemonade or beer, in large containers, rather than a lot of small ones and avoid using throwaway plates and cups if you are a planning a party
- Use rechargeable batteries and recycle any batteries you are finished with – this can be done by placing them separately in a bag on top of or next to your blue wheelie bin or at many local supermarkets
- Pass on any unwanted presents on to your local charity shop rather than throwing them away – there is sure to be someone who will like them.
Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said: “We are asking everyone to consider the environment when preparing for parties and picking presents in the holiday period.
“In 2018 we have seen our recycling rates rise again to almost 53%, which means we are recycling more of the borough’s household waste than ever. We want to make sure that we keep these excellent rates up over Christmas so please check your amended schedule for collections over the festive season.”