How to Recycle Christmas

Category: Sureset Blog

Posted 28th December 2019 by Anne Shave


Let me set the scene…

Christmas tree bedecked with tinsel, lights, and decorations adding seasonal cheer,  Presents tumbling down around the base of the tree with glitter bows and ribbons. Tantalising smells wafting through from the kitchen…

The presents have been opened, mum has her black bin bag out to catch all the wastepaper and bows, children pulling toys from their boxes, little bits of cardboard littering the floor.

Christmas lunch has been devoured, forgotten Brussel sprouts left on the side, everyone groaning and moaning that they ate too much, but going back for seconds.

We have all done it… over brought at Christmas… Food, Presents, and seasonal decorations, but now it’s over how do we get rid of the surplus waste that came from Christmas cards, present wrapping, and food.

There are lots of options to think about, but when recycling you need to check when your local bin collection days are, they will be changed over the Seasonal period, but don’t fret some shops such as supermarkets have recycling areas for cards, paper, etc too…

  • Christmas Cards and envelope’s

There are lots of ways to recycle your used Christmas Cards, turning them into gift tags for next year’s presents, crafts projects for children with hours of fun hunting for bows and that special image. Paper chains/bunting for next year. Jigsaw puzzles, or a recycled greeting card Wreath, or just popping them into your household recycling. Envelopes are fine to recycle, even with the little plastic window, Padded Jiffy bags, on the other hand, are not recyclable, as they are made from more than one substance.

Fun fact: Paper goods make up almost a third of the UK’s household waste!

  • Wrapping Paper and Gift Bags

The majority of Christmas paper can be recycled into your home Recycling Bin.

To recycle your waste wrapping paper, you need to make sure that there is no Sellotape, glitter or bows attached. If the paper is not too far gone you could reuse it next year or you could upcycle it into Christmas cards for next year. If you have any bags that look reasonable, just take off the used tag and replace it with one of your homemade Christmas tags.

Quick tip…If you scrunch the paper and it doesn’t spring back it can’t be recycled, normally due to having glitter and other coatings on it.

  • Christmas Decorations

What wonderful, beautiful and delicate things charismas baubles are, unfortunately, your plastic or glass decorations are not recyclable… If you have any spare or are going to replace your decorations, you can always donate to charity’s, or go Eco-Friendly with home-made decorations, using scrap ribbons, Salt Dough, Twigs, and recycled paper, Old CDs, the list is endless.

  • Christmas Food

Leftovers are an easy thing to make, Soups, Turkey sandwiches and Curry’s, you could batch cook your Curry’s and soup and freeze them for a later date. Vegetables could be turned into Bubble and Squeak or broth, leftover turkey bones could be turned into gravy, but please do not give these to your pets to chew, they splinter and can cause damage to their mouths, throat and internal organs.

  • Christmas Lights

Fairy lights are recyclable but will need to be taken to your local recycling centre for their WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment).

Alternatively, keep them out and hang them over your bed and create your own cozy haven or picture gallery.

  • Batteries

Retailers who sell over 32KG batteries a year must offer a free collection service, So Supermarkets and other large retailers in your area will have somewhere in their store dedicated to recycled batteries and they must be suitable for all types of portable batteries.

  • Christmas Trees

Coming soon… Our next blog will be all about how to Recycle your Christmas Tree.


So you see, there are lots of ways to Recycle, Upcycle, Reuse and be eco-friendly.

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