Christmas tree with gold decorations and wrapped gifts beneath it

Top recycling tips for Christmas

The festive season is upon us and despite all of our best efforts, it is often a time of utter chaos in households across the country.

With spirits high, it can be easy to forget about the importance of disposing of waste correctly — but with so much additional waste about at Christmas, recycling is as important as ever.

So, read through our tips below and get ready for an eco-friendlier Christmas.

Sort through cards and wrapping paper carefully

You may assume that all wrapping paper and Christmas cards can be recycled — they are made from recyclable materials, after all.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and this is certainly something to consider when buying your gift wrap and cards next year.

Christmas cards featuring glitter, foiling or any embellishments cannot be recycled and need to be placed in your general waste bin.

The same rules apply for Christmas wrap. You can use the scrunch test to check if it’s recyclable or not, too; if it doesn’t bounce back into shape after you’ve scrunched it up, it’s not made of foil and is recyclable — unless it features glitter, etc.

When sorting through your wrapping paper, also keep an eye out for ribbons, bows and sticky tape — none of which are recyclable. You may be able to reuse ribbons and bows though.

Don’t forget your delivery boxes

A delivery of two cardboard boxes being made to a man

With more and more of us doing our Christmas shopping online, the number of delivery boxes being sent to houses across the country has increased massively.

Simply collapse these and place them in your household recycling bin — even the large boxes can be made much smaller to fit inside.

Recycling doesn’t have to be spotless

While it is important that you get the last scraps out food out of containers before you place them in your recycling bin, you don’t need to wash them — this, after all, would waste a lot of water.

Water in your recycling bin could also cause issues with paper and cardboard and has the potential to spoil a whole batch of recycling.

So, just make sure your items are clean and pop them straight in your bin. The exception is glass but you can read about that below, and glass items are often collected in a separate waste container.

Don’t forget food recycling

Family saying cheers with champagne flutes over table of Christmas dinner

If your local council collects food waste, then this is the time of year you’re most likely to fill the caddy — don’t forget to make good use of it this Christmas.

However, make sure no non-food bits get in there, such as wrappers, cling film, aluminium foil, and so on.

They say prevention is better than a cure, and you can find loads of tips for cutting your food waste at Christmas and year-round in this blog post.

Recycle all your glass

While you may usually recycle glass, there’s often a lot more of it about at Christmas thanks to drinks and condiments. With more about. it’s at a higher risk of getting thrown in with the general waste.

Make sure to separate bottles and jars out this festive season. Give them a quick swill inside with some water to get rid of any sediment and pop the lids back on as this actually helps with the sorting procedure at the recycling centre.

Find out what glass is in this blog post and how it is recycled.

Check your household bin collection dates

Finally, check your bin collection dates for Christmas as they often vary from your usual schedule. The last thing you want is to miss your collection!

Your local council should be distributing leaflets telling you when your festive pickups are but, if not, here is some information on your local festive bin collections:

If you’d like to learn how to waste less this Christmas, you can read the blog post we wrote on that, here.