With Christmas almost upon us, it will soon be time to wrap all those presents and place them under the tree in time for the big day.
Gift-wrapping is a time consuming job, albeit one that takes just seconds to undo, and while it may make our gifts look even more festive and appealing, have you ever thought about where all that festive paper goes after Christmas has passed?
The only place for our wrapping paper to go is in a waste bin or recycling bin, and when you consider the interesting facts and figures below from DEFRA and other UK Recycling Organisations, the idea of adding several thousand tons of Santa covered paper to an already struggling disposal system, is not a good one.
- The average person in England produces 263kg of residual waste per year, which equates to over a quarter of a ton.
- DEFRA confirm that 40% of our household waste such as paper, plastic and glass is recycled each year, compared to 11% ten years ago. The figures certainly seem to be moving in the right direction, but they also reveal that a massive 60 percent of UK household waste is not being recycled.
- According to RecycleNow, we waste or throw away £12 billion worth of food each year, and this waste is responsible for 5% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- The UK produces enough waste to fill Lake Windermere (the largest natural lake in England covering an area of 14.73km²) in just eight months.
- Plastic carrier bags represent less than 1% of household waste, despite the fact that supermarkets handed out over 8 million of them in 2011.
If you do not like the idea of contributing to the estimated 83km² of wrapping paper making its way into our landfills this Christmas, why not ditch it altogether, and go with reusable, recyclable gift bags instead!