Have yourself a sustainable Christmas – Part II

christmas tree

MAKING small changes and swaps to some of our much-loved Christmas traditions is easy and can also be fun and creative.

Here are some top tips for keeping it plastic free!

The UK uses roughly around 227,000 miles of wrapping paper each year, with 108 million rolls of wrapping paper nearly all of it can’t be recycled and ends up in the bin.

It is often laminated with plastic, foil and other materials that are not paper and it often is contaminated with plastic sticky tape. So, what can you do?

  • Keep wrapping paper and gift bags or boxes from gifts that you receive and re-use them when giving your own gifts the following year.
  • A great alternative is to use brown paper to wrap presents – this can be decorated with your own artwork, or messages, or tied up with string or re-use ribbons, or fastened with paper tape instead of plastic sticky tapes.
  • Many cards and gift-wraps contain glitters or other decorative materials that can escape into the environment and are not biodegradable, and find their way into our soils, river and seas.  These are best avoided.  If you really love glitter, there are biodegradable glitters available so you can still get creative!
  • Home-made crackers help to avoid the packaging, small plastic toys and games that are commonly found in shop-bought equivalents. This allows you to get creative with small gifts, jokes and home-made or re-used hats.  You can even go one step further and make them personalised.
  • If you are still feeling creative, then maybe have a go at making your own decorations – knit stars, make pom-pom baubles from old wool or fabric strips or try paper snowflakes (cutting patterns on our website and Facebook page) all with the added bonus of being lots of fun to make with the kids!

Avoiding single-use plastic is the best solution, but if you find that no matter how hard you have tried, you end up with a piece of unwanted plastic or plastic packaging, it is still possible to re-use or recycle most plastic items. 

Wash them, re-use them, find a new use for them or if that’s not possible, recycle them responsibly. Enjoy!

Alison Johnson,
Plastic Free Lyme Regis

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