In the UK alone we use 227,000 miles of wrapping paper every year and a whopping 40 million rolls of sticky tape and let's not even mention gift tags. That’s a lot of waste for just one day and most of this won’t (or can’t) even be recycled.
How to tell if it can be recycled
The easiest way to tell if wrapping paper can be recycled is to scrunch it up. If the paper unravels it cannot be recycled. If it stays scrunched up, it can, but you’ll need to make sure that you remove any leftover plastics (such as sellotape, stickers and bows).
Say Hello to New Ideas
There are new ways to make sure your festive paraphernalia is more eco-friendly.
This year, we challenge you to jazz up your gifts with 100% eco-friendly ideas. For starters, there is 100% recycled, unbleached paper on the market which has been printed with vegetable inks. This means less energy and chemicals used to make your wrapping paperwhite or patterned.
Just Google 100% recycled paper and you’ll be presented with lots of lovely festive designs. Happy choosing! We’ve also noticed big supermarkets including Marks & Spencers, Morrisons and The Works selling them as rolls of brown paper, whilst others including Waitrose and Co-Op are now selling paper that is fully recyclable and sealed with a sticker instead of plastic.
Make your own
Your new exciting project. Personalising your wrapping paper. Purchase yourself a large roll of brown postal paper and decorate it with stamps and ribbons. If you pick up an alphabet stamp set, you could add everyone’s names to their gifts too. Your stamps can be re-used every year on Christmas cards, tags and envelops - so much better value for money. Swap plastic ribbon for natural materials like hessian, twine, cinnamon sticks, flowers and dried orange slices.
You can also recycle old newspapers and colourful magazines. As for baked goods or small gifts, you can also decorate old jars, tins, baskets and boxes.
Wrap it with a wrap!
Say hello to furoshiki - a traditional Japanese cloth-folding technique that allows you to wrap up your gifts with a single piece of cloth! Dating back to the 14th century, (when people used to wrap clothes into a secure bundle while visiting public baths), the Japanese government re-launched the idea several years ago as a campaign to reduce furoshiki’s dependency on plastic bags.
There are tons of different Christmas fabrics on the market, and you’ll have a giggle watching YouTube videos and learning all of the various ways you can wrap up different shapes and sizes! We've also got a simple-how to guide here.
Perhaps you have an old table runner of Christmas-themed duvet set that is no longer in use? Why not recycle this and cut into squares for wrapping up gifts.
Add some foliage
Swap the plastic bows for natural foliage. Your garden and local green space will be full of natural berries and branches that you can forage for. They'll not only add texture and scents to your gifts, but they are beautiful and fully compostable.
What to wrap up?
Are you looking for eco-gifts this Christmas? We’ve got lots of cruelty-free goodies that all promise that ‘feel-good’ factor without any compromise. All of our products are handmade in small batches in Lincolnshire and contain no parabens or palm oil. We’ve got soothing self-care gift sets, plastic-free hair wax and luxurious body butter and salt scrubs. Or, maybe you want to pick up a bamboo comb or soap dish?