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Recycling at Christmas

Did you know that recycling 6 mince pie foil cases will save enough energy to watch EastEnders on Christmas Day?

We’re getting festive in this week’s blog to help you recycle more over the festive period. With lots of wrapping paper, cards, envelopes and bits of packaging flying around, there’re plenty of opportunities to make sure you’re recycling as much of your waste as possible.

What can I recycle?

So, the most obvious: wrapping paper. To know whether or not you can recycle it, try the scrunch test. Screw it up into a ball, if it keeps its shape, you can recycle it. If it bounces back, chances are it’s made of some sort of plastic film that can’t be recycled. Did you know you can also buy recycled wrapping paper?

Greetings cards: you could get creative and reuse them before putting them in recycling, try turning them into gift tags, postcards, bookmarks or napkin rings, for something a bit different.

Decorations. Those fairy lights you’ve been resurrecting every year, that just aren’t quite cutting it anymore, can be recycled. Depending on your local council, some will collect them as a part of your household recycling, or you can take them to your nearest household recycling centre. If you’ve got a wreath made out of natural materials like ivy, holly or fir tree clippings, they can go into the compost. Make sure you remove any ribbons and plastic pieces first though.

Baubles: Glass or plastic baubles aren’t recyclable, so if they’re broken wrap them up carefully and put them in your rubbish bin. If they’re intact, why not offer them to family and friends?

Finally, the big one, your Christmas tree. “Real” trees are recyclable, but artificial ones aren’t. Councils will often arrange special collections in January for the natural ones and will let you know the dates. These are often shredded into chippings which are used in local parks and woodland. If your artificial tree is past its best, sadly it can’t be recycled so you’ll need to take it to your local refuse centre.

Don’t forget, if you’ve got working Christmas lights or decorations that aren’t broken, you can donate them to local charity shops or post an ad on Freecycle to give them a new lease of life. If you’re unsure of where/how to recycle something, take a look at Recycle Now’s handy guide.

Emily Morrey-McGrath

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