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Alarming Christmas Waste Statistics and How you Can Have a Zero Waste Christmas

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There are loads of posts all over social media at this time of year, helping us have a less wasteful Christmas.

Some of the statistics surrounding Christmas waste are astonishing. According to Wildlife and Countryside link, around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging will be thrown away and not recycled in the UK this Christmas. Finder tell us that over 21 million people receive at least one unwanted gift each Christmas. And worse still, a small percentage of those (around 5%) will be thrown away – they won’t even be regifted, sold or given to charity!

And what about the food? Well over four million Christmas dinners are thrown away every year – that’s equivalent to 263,000 turkeys, 7.5 million mince pies, 740,000 portions of Christmas pudding and 11.3 million roast potatoes. Thankfully, we have a resident Food Waste Warrior here at Zero Waste Towers. Find out how Anna got 105 portions from her 8 1/2 kg Christmas turkey last year! And if you want more ideas for reducing food waste throughout the year, grab a signed copy of her book which includes 101 recipes for using up leftovers.

But one of the forms of waste which really frustrates me is wrapping paper. So much so I’m right behind Zero Waste Week Ambassador, Zoe’s latest campaign #CutTheWrap. Zoe is asking people to join in and sign her pledge which you can do here.

Why is reducing wrapping paper so important? Well Defra estimates that enough paper is used each year to gift-wrap the island of Guernsey. Zoe’s research is more alarming, she says “So much wrapping paper is bought in the UK that in 2013 it was reported it would be long enough to stretch to the moon.”

Whichever statistic is right, it’s a waste right? Especially when wrapping paper is used for such a short period of time. And so much of it can’t be recycled because it has glitter on it or is foil based.

There are so many alternatives including furoshiki, reusable gift bags, vintage tins, tea towels and scarves. If all that sounds overwhelming, Zoe is on hand to help. Next week she’ll be blogging about lots of alternatives, which will leave you inspired and ready to #CutTheWrap! Be sure to follow her blog starting 25th November.

And in the meantime, if you’re looking for Zero Waste Christmas gift inspiration, here’s an infographic which you are free to share in its entirety on your blog or social media channels, showing 12 waste free gifts that your recipient will love!

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how to give zero waste christmas presents infographic

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Rachelle Strauss

Rachelle Strauss

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