Resource Use

WRAP releases guide to promote a sustainable Christmas

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has released its guide on how to have a more sustainable Christmas this year, providing advice across all its ongoing citizen campaigns.

The information is geared towards making recycling and sustainability efforts a fundamental part of this year’s Christmas, providing specific information on what to do with used or unwanted Christmas items, as well as advising local communities with details of their nearest recycling resources.                                                                     

WRAP Christmas campaigns

A list of how to recycle Christmas decorations and packaging has been made available through national recycling campaign Recycle Now. WRAP has provided specific advice on how to recycle Christmas items such as wrapping paper and Christmas trees, after they were revealed to be the two most searched-for items when people made online recycling queries throughout the Christmas week in 2019.

Recycle Now’s local Recycle Locator has information on what can be recycled from within the home, including information on the closest recycling centres and collection points for different items across England. Recycle Now in Northern Ireland offers a similar tool, alongside resources on how to reuse waste and recycling unwanted gadgets.

On 14 December, WRAP will be launching its Be Mighty recycling project through Wales Recycles, concentrating on correctly recycling food waste and recycling bathroom plastics. The website also provides a breakdown of where to recycle household items through a recycling locator for Wales.

The Love Your Clothes campaign is focused on reducing textiles waste by offering refashioning and upcycling ideas, whereas the Love Food Hate Waste website will build upon the most popular searches people made in the days after Christmas day last year, to offer recipes that use up Christmas leftovers.

WRAP’s Clear on Plastics campaign aims to give people information about plastics and the environment. This Christmas the website is running a focus on popular Christmas gifts items to help people reduce plastic pollution through the four ‘R’s – Reduce, Refill, Recycle and Return.

Sarah Clayton, Head of Citizen Behaviour Change at WRAP, said: “This has been an unprecedented year for everyone, but as a nation we’ve continued to care about the impact our actions have on the environment.

“We’re taking more steps to ensure less food goes to waste, and that we dispose of our unwanted clothing in ways that keep them from going to waste.”

“There hasn’t been much good news this year, but our growing commitment to the environment is definitely a highlight of 2020, and will stand us all in good stead as we tackle the challenge of climate change.”

Festive recycling tips

Alongside campaign work, WRAP has released its main tips for recycling around Christmas.

This included a wrapping paper ‘scrunch test’ to see if it can be recycled. If the paper springs back, it contains plastic and cannot be recycled.

WRAP has also reminded that paper and Christmas cards covered in glitter are not recyclable and suggest that Christmas crackers covered in glitter or made with plastic should be avoided.

There was also focus on recycling Christmas trees, with WRAP advising that artificial trees need to be used for up to nine Christmases to have a lesser impact on the environment than natural alternatives, depending on the method of disposal.

Many local authorities offer special collections of real christmas trees in early January to ensure they are recycled correctly.