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Bah humbug! The Christmas traditions Britons want to scrap, ranked

18 December 2019

A recent YouGov survey of 2,042 UK adults, commissioned by EMR Metal Recycling, has revealed the Christmas staples Britons would rather see scrapped this festive season.



Food & Drink


  1. Elf on the Shelf (26%)

1. Eggnog (20%)

1. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey (13%)

  1. Work Christmas parties (11%)

2. Brussel sprouts (14%)

2. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid (9%)

  1. Christmas jumpers (10%)

3. Bread sauce (8%)

3. Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney (9%)


The global metal recycler found that Elf on the Shelf (26%) came out on top for the Christmas tradition that over one quarter of us would rather live without, followed by work Christmas parties (11%) and Christmas jumpers (10%).


There were clear preferences between different age groups, with five times as many Gen Y-ers (18 to 24-year-olds) consigning carol singing to the scrap heap than baby boomers (over 55s), and three times as many over 55s wanting to dump the Christmas jumper, compared to 18 to 24-year-olds.


As for food and drink, eggnog (20%) was most likely to languish at the back of a drinks cabinet, while brussel sprouts (14%) maintain their infamous crown as the Christmas food the public would rather vote off the menu.


Despite being the most streamed Christmas song on Spotify’s streaming charts, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ (13%) was the single that most respondents wanted to scrap above all others.


It’s well-known that Christmas is one of the most expensive times of year for families across the country, and the survey revealed that over 1 in 10 adults (12%) had considered selling their waste metal to a scrap metal company to make a little extra cash in the run up to Christmas. Many metal recycling centres will buy waste metal from members of the public upon presentation of recent photo ID and proof of address.


Andrew Brady, EMR UK Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Although Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, we’ve all got things about the festive season that we’d rather scrap. Just as Christmas traditions fall in and out of favour, what many might see as a piece of scrap metal has the potential to be recycled into something bigger and better.


“So, if you have waste metal in your household, taking it to a local metal recycling centre can definitely bring some added Christmas cheer both to your pocket and the environment. In fact, the metal and plastic we recycle at EMR saves over 10 million tonnes of CO2 compared to using virgin materials.”


For more information about EMR, please visit

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