Christmas Wrapping - If it doesn’t scrunch, give it the hunch

Rebecca Wilson, passionate about recycling across South Yorkshire
Rebecca Wilson
26 Nov 2019

The glitter, the bows, the shiny wrapping paper, the festive season is almost here! Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year but often we don’t realise just how much of an impact it has on our environment.

Christmas gift wrapped in natural, recyclable materials

Plastic waste skyrockets at Christmas, increasing by a whopping 30% - Christmas packaging is a huge contributor to this figure.


A staggering amount of wrapping paper is used each year with the equivalent of 108 million rolls being binned in the UK.


Although you may think that wrapping paper is recyclable, a lot of it isn’t as it is coated in plastic – especially the glittery paper.


Do the scrunch test! To check if your wrapping paper can be recycled, scrunch up the paper and if it doesn’t spring back, it can be recycled. Just try to remove as much plastic tape as you can. If in doubt, leave it out of your recycling bin and place it in your general waste bin.


Here is a short video showing how the scrunch test works: Scrunch Test


We have put together some creative hints and tips that will help to reduce plastic waste this Christmas:


Brown paper


Brown paper gives a natural and traditional look that we love. Just make sure that the paper isn’t coated in plastic and you are good to go. 


Reuse paper 


Use what you already have at home and give your newspapers and excess packaging from your parcels a final lease of life before they go in the recycling bin. You can make your wrapping look really nice this way and something different from the other presents.


Natural string


Instead of using plastic bows on your packaging, why not opt for natural string? This will give a traditional, rustic look to your Christmas presents. It will complement brown or recycled paper perfectly 


Pine needles and cones


These may be a little bit bulky, but they look lovely when used as decorations on gifts. The pine needles can also be used as confetti.


Old Christmas cards


If you’re anything like us, you’ll have a pile (perhaps a mountain) of old Christmas cards from family and friends that you’ve never thrown away.


Free up space in your home and reuse them as gift tags this Christmas, cut out the designs into whatever shapes you like! We will certainly be spoilt for choice.


Christmas hampers


Instead of reaching for the gift bags this Christmas, why not get creative and make a hamper or gift box?


Wicker or woven baskets are plastic-free and can be reused, it’s a win-win situation!


They can be filled and padded out with natural tissue or shredded paper, a great way to protect and present your gifts together. Dried petals, leaves and berries are recyclable and a great way to add those finishing touches.


Secret Santa


A simple way of reducing the amount of waste from wrapping present is to buy less presents in the first place.


By doing a secret Santa, with your friends/family you won’t have to buy as many presents as normal. 


The surprise reveal


This one is a little out of the box but is incredibly simple- and requires no wrapping whatsoever!


On Christmas morning- have the receiver close their eyes and place all there presents in front of them- saving money, time and effort.


By being mindful of what we buy and use, we can all do our bit to reduce plastic waste this Christmas.


Do you have any tips to share? We’d love to hear from you, get in touch using the links below by tagging us or using #SYrecycles

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