Tips on Reducing Your Christmas Waste

More than any other celebration every year, the Christmas season is undoubtedly the most wasteful time. With people giving and receiving gifts here and there, a lot of things have been piled into garbage bins. If you are among those who are having trouble with excessive holiday waste, here are some practical tips you can do to solve your problem.

Types of Holiday Waste

Unwanted/Unnecessary Gifts

Most often than not, we receive gifts that aren’t useful and they usually end up in the trash bin. Since it could be difficult to know the kind of gift that people would want, keeping your gift simple or not buying it at all would be a good solution. If you want to send someone a gift, you can also opt for an eco-friendly option. Many eco-friendly products in the market are useful and reusable for a long time. You can also send someone food. This way, you are not only letting them know you care, but you are also eliminating or reducing waste.

Wrapping Papers

More than the gifts, it is the wrapping papers that make up a huge percentage of waste that is discarded after the holiday celebrations. In 2018 alone, the amount of waste from wrapping papers that have been discarded after the holiday is around 227,00 miles which is enough to make a pathway to the moon. If you really have to wrap your gift, you can choose a more environmentally safe option which is to use recyclable papers. It is also important to note that not all wrapping can be recycled including those wrappers that are foil-lined or covered in glitter. If you are unsure whether the wrapping material is recyclable or not, you can do a scrunch test. If the material scrunches up into a ball and still holds its shape, it means it is recyclable. But if you want to be safe, you can always use brown paper and decorate it with flowers or ribbons.

Holiday Greeting Cards

Another material that makes up most of the holiday waste is holiday greeting cards. Although sending cards has been decreasing in popularity, many people still prefer sending cards to their friends and loved ones to show their love and let them know they are thinking of them. If each person sends at least 18 cards, that would sum up to a total of over 1 billion cards per year and the majority of them are thrown away after celebrations end. To save on money buying and to eliminate waste from greeting cards, a lot of people are not choosing to send an e-card or long emails to their loved ones. There is no physical waste and it would leave just a very little amount of carbon footprint. And since almost everyone has an access to the internet, there is no reason not to choose to send e-cards or emails over greeting cards.


You should not let the social pressure of sending everyone a gift be the reason for spending on useless or unwanted presents. But if you truly want to send someone a gift for this holiday season, make sure to choose a useful and eco-friendly option to prevent unnecessary waste build-up.

Do Christmas jumpers contain plastic?

12 million novelty jumpers are set to be bought this year, despite 65 million festive jumpers sitting forgotten at the backs of our wardrobes. With one in three under 35s purchasing a new Christmas jumper every year we look into what negative impact this has the environment around us.

Christmas jumpers contain plastic

According to a survey by Hubbub only 29% of shoppers know that most Christmas jumpers contain plastic.

The common plastic fibre has been linked to the issue of ocean plastic pollution, as it sheds masses of microfibres when washed. A study by Plymouth University discovered acrylic was far more ecologically damaging than polyester.

Hubbub project co-ordinator Sarah Divall said: “We don’t want to stop people dressing up and having a great time at Christmas, but there are so many ways to do this without buying new.

“Fast fashion is a major threat to the natural world and Christmas jumpers are particularly problematic as so many contain plastic.

“We’d urge people to swap, buy second-hand or re-wear and remember a jumper is for life, not just for Christmas.”

The charity also warned that our Christmas dinners are putting the planet at risk because of the amount of food waste, and urged households to consider how much they need to buy and whether it will all get eaten.

According to their research, across the UK an estimated 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies will be binned, costing British people money and harming the environment.

How can you be more eco-friendly this Christmas?

  • Many of us already have a jumper languishing in our wardrobes so why waste money on another.
  • Swap with family or friends – an easy way to get a new christmas jumper from last year with minimal effort.
  • Add a temporary festive touch to an ordinary jumper you can wear all year round.
  • With so many jumpers only worn once, it’s easy to find an almost new jumper in a local charity shop.

If you require a waste disposal plan, North West Waste Consultants can ensure that you’re following the suitable procedure and have the correct documentation for the disposal of your hazardous waste.