The range of wrapping paper at Christmas time is phenomenal – there really is something for everyone, from the Disney fan or brown paper packages tied up with string to hand-painted bespoke designs and even crystal-encrusted wrapping paper at £1000 a wrap!
But whether you spend £1, £10 or even £100 a metre, there are some types of wrapping paper which cannot be recycled and are destined for landfill as soon as they’ve been made.
So, before you pop to the shops to buy yours, read our ‘3 WISE THINGS’ to think about when choosing your Christmas wrapping.
No to glitter or foil based wrapping paper
If the wrapping paper has any glitter or foil on it, it can’t be recycled and should go into your household waste bin. Bad news for those among us who love nothing more than sparkles and shine, but not all is lost. Why not try recyclable paper and using a sparkly ribbon or bow instead to dress up your gift? Good news is that the bow and ribbon can be reused next Christmas.
Take the Scrunch Test
Try and scrunch up the paper – if you can scrunch it into a ball – good news, it can be recycled, yay! However, if it doesn’t scrunch and immediately unfolds, then it’s off to the household waste. But, again, not all is lost. If it doesn’t scrunch why not reuse it next Christmas or keep it for arts or crafts.
Choose a reusable alternative
There are many alternatives to wrapping paper. If you’re trying to cut down on your waste this year, try some of these options:
- Fabric – towels, scarves, and blankets make beautiful wraps ie bubble bath set wrapped in a towel, a newborn’s present wrapped in a baby blanket, or make up wrapped in a scarf.
The use of Furoshiki is an ancient Japanese tradition. It can be used to wrap boxes, small objects and even bottles. In modern Japan, to use a furoshiki when taking a present to a friend is considered very good manners.
- Fabric bag – If you have any scraps of fabric, why not have a go at sewing them together and creating your own bespoke material to wrap your gifts in.
- Plain brown paper (technically still paper, but you can doodle and design it how you like)
- Leftover wallpaper
Or, if it’s not too badly torn, simply save some wrapping paper to reuse next Christmas.
Before you put the recyclable paper into your recycling bin, make sure to remove any tags, bows, ribbons and sticky tape as they can’t be recycled.
Happy wrapping and Merry Christmas!