Christmas is creeping upon us and most people will buy gifts for their nearest and dearest, wrapping them up in mountains of shiny themed gift wrap secured with Sellotape.
The crinkle of the wrapping paper and sound of tearing is all too familiar a Christmas morning sound. And then we have a room filled with discarded gift wrap that most of us stuff into the recycling bin thinking we’ve done our part.
But is wrapping paper recyclable?
The problem is, not all wrapping paper is recyclable.
In fact, most gift wrap is not even paper. It’s plastic based. Or even if it is recyclable it’s covered in plastic Sellotape. Both contributing to landfill waste and the plastic problem we are all too aware of.
Sparkly wrap, glitter and foil all play a part too. They are not paper either. They are often made with plastic and also can’t be recycled.
Let’s not forget the numerous trees and pollution caused to create this wrap that provides only seconds of fun.
Is it worth it?
It’s a large cost to pay to the environment for a few seconds of fun.
If you’re wondering how large a cost, then in 2017 it was estimated that Brits would throwaway 108 MILLION rolls worth of wrapping paper on Christmas Day. That’s insane!
Eco-friendly wrapping ideas
To save this crazy amount of landfill waste and who knows how many trees, it’s a much better idea to choose reusable gift wrap instead. At the very least we should choose a recyclable wrapping paper, but something that can be reused time and time again is a better solution.
If you’re looking for wrapping paper alternatives then here are lots of ideas of clever ways to wrap Christmas gifts this year:
· Fabric sacks
This is exactly what I have done this year for my children. I have purchased them four fabric sacks each in various sizes. Their presents will be loose in each sack. They will still be concealed so they will have a surprise. These sacks can be used every year from now on for my kids Christmas presents and can potentially last us a lifetime! They cost more upfront than a roll of wrapping paper, but the cost saving benefits in the long run will be great!
· Fabric pouches
If you have small gifts then small fabric or hessian pouches are a great idea. They can be kept and reused.
· Gift boxes
Gift boxes in cardboard or even tins that can be reused for future gifts or kept as useful storage boxes will protect gifts and eliminate wrapping waste.
· Recycled paper
If you receive magazines, newspapers, brochures or leaflets then keep them and use these as an eco-friendly alternative to new plastic coated gift wrap.
Cut fabric into various sizes and use this instead of wrapping paper. It looks so pretty and can be reused forever!
Try to eliminate plastic Sellotape and secure gifts with twine if possible.
Reusable ribbon can also be used to secure gifts or to decorate them.
· Cardboard labels
Skip glitter or foil adorned labels and instead cut shapes from simply cardboard. I like to use star shaped kraft labels which I tie on with twine. I do also have a mountain of stickers to use from previous years, but I wonder whether these are very eco-friendly at all as they must contain chemicals in the adhesive.
· Recyclable wrapping paper
If you need to use paper then make sure you choose plain kraft paper, buy recycled wrapping paper if available or make sure it is recyclable. According to Metro if wrapping paper can be scrunched up and stay scrunched up then it can be recycled.
Join the #CutTheWrap challenge
Blogger Zoe from Eco Thrifty Living has set a great challenge this Christmas called #CutTheWrap.
If you are concerned about the amount of landfill waste and non-recyclable wrap being used then take part in the challenge and use alternatives this year too.
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