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How to cut down on Christmas waste

20 December 2019

For many households, Christmas is a time of excess - with food piled high, drinks free-flowing and presents galore. So perhaps it’s no surprise that it’s also the most wasteful time of year, with an extra 30% of waste produced in the UK each holiday season!


As we look to progress to a more circular economy - a world without waste - Christmas is a great time to cut down on what we throw out. Read on for our top tips on how you can reduce your waste this Christmas.


Push out plastic

Around 114,000 tonnes of plastic packaging is thrown away and goes unrecycled in the UK at Christmas. Choosing items in recyclable packaging – such as drinks in aluminium cans or glass bottles, which are widely recycled - can help us reduce plastic waste and protect the environment.


Recycling aluminium saves around 95% of the energy required to make aluminium from virgin materials, and 95% of greenhouse gases emitted by the same process. And the humble aluminium can has a whole lot of potential. After being recycled, your can could go on to form the bonnet of a car, the wing of an aeroplane or the cockpit of a space shuttle!


A gift to remember

Sometimes, the best gifts come without wrapping paper. To reduce packaging and plastic waste, more and more people are shunning material presents altogether, opting instead to gift experiences. Whether it’s a trip to the theatre, a cocktail making class or even a bungee jump, experiences are the perfect way to create memories with loved ones.


Christmas is also a time to help those less fortunate, and certain gifts can help us give back and do good during the festive season. Many charities that offer donation present packages such as adopting an endangered animal or providing fresh food and water to those in need. At EMR, we’re proud to support a number of local good causes at Christmas and throughout the year with our CSR programme.


T’is the season to save energy

Fairy lights are notoriously bad for the environment, gobbling up electricity and - in some rare cases - even starting fires! And if the lights go in the bin, they can cause serious trouble. As well as wasting valuable resources, long and wiry fairy lights can wind around components in waste processing equipment - leading to malfunctions and slowing down the treatment process.


LED fairy lights are much more eco-friendly than traditional Christmas lights, as they use up to 80% less energy. When it comes to festive lighting to decorate the outside of your house or garden, opt for solar-powered lights for greater sustainability and to cut down energy bills! As an added bonus, fairy and Christmas lights are classed as waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and can be recycled at your local household waste recycling centre when they go out for good.


At EMR we can recycle anything from a toaster to an aeroplane to help divert valuable resources from landfill. Use our site locator to find out where you can trade in your waste metals for some extra cash.


If you still have waste left over, many Christmas items can be recycled quickly or easily by either putting them in the correct bin or taking a trip to a local household waste recycling centre. Want to know more? Check out our blog by clicking here.

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