When we think about Christmas, we tend to think about festive food, presents and Christmas trees among other things. The packaging needed for these items and others is often completely overlooked. Shockingly, it is estimated that 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging thrown away at Christmas time goes to landfill (that’s the equivalent of 650,000 reindeer). Alongside this, 227,000 miles worth of wrapping paper is used in the UK each year. This means the amount of wrapping paper we throw away at Christmas could reach the moon as it is parallel to 384,400km.
Undeniably, choosing sustainable packaging for your products is important all year round but it’s even more critical to make sustainable choices at this time of year. The UK alone produces and discards an additional 30% of waste at Christmas time, that’s an eye-watering 3 million tonnes of extra waste in comparison to the rest of the year. Also, it is estimated that 72% of the UK population want to reduce their plastic waste this Christmas. It is obvious that consumer awareness and mentality towards packaging and it’s waste are finally becoming more prominent, as people strive to make more environmentally conscious choices. 30% of businesses believe that consumer interest rises when they pay close attention to their packaging details and decisions, and we feel the same, which is why we developed plastic-free shrink sleeves, and we use sustainable materials wherever possible.
This Christmas, join us in protecting the planet and switch to sustainable packaging for your products.
Interested in making a difference at home?
We’ve put together a few suggestions we can all try this festive season to reduce, reuse and recycle:
Recyclable wrapping paper:
An easy switch to make that will make a big difference is to wrap gifts in recyclable wrapping paper. It is now easy to buy in most UK supermarkets. Also, if you receive gifts and are unsure whether they are wrapped in recyclable paper then there is a test you can do to tell. Crumple the wrapping paper in your hand. If it remains crumpled in your hand then it is recyclable, if not and it flattens back out on its own accord then it is probable that the wrapping has a cover of plastic film over the top and subsequently is not recyclable.
Proper disposal of packaging:
Ensure you recycle all your glass packaging this Christmas. If everyone in the UK recycled all their glass packaging used at Christmas time, it would save around 4,200 tonnes of CO2. Recycling glass in the UK is now easier than ever, with most UK councils collecting glass as part of regular bin collections. There are also more than 50,000 bottle banks nationwide making it easier for us to dispose of our glass in an environmentally conscious way.
Always read the labels and follow the instructions to recycle as much of your packaging as possible. You may be surprised at how much can now be recycled in your regular kerbside collections with a few simple changes such as fully removing labels and washing the containers effectively.
Choose products and brands with eco-conscious packaging:
When choosing your festive treats keep an eye out for recyclable or recycled content packaging, it is usually well displayed and easy to spot. Pay attention to brands taking the lead in eco-friendly materials. It is surprising how much of an impact a few swaps in your weekly shop can achieve!
Re-plant or recycle your Christmas tree:
Roughly 6-8 million Christmas trees are sold in the UK every year.
The look, feel and smell of a real Christmas tree in your home can evoke wonderful memories and help create new ones.
Why not start a tradition and re-plant yours in the garden to use year after year? Or plant outside for a lovely outdoor display. Alternatively, many councils offer a tree collection service to ensure they are all recycled properly.
- GWP Group ‘Christmas Packaging Facts and Waste Statistics (2023 Update)’
- Springpack ‘Christmas Packaging: Preparing Your Packaging For The Festive Season’
- Sourceful ‘The Ultimate Business Guide To Christmas Packaging’
- Gov.UK ‘Don’t Increase Your Christmas Waste-line’
- British Christmas Tree Growers Association ‘Christmas Tree Fun Facts’