Every year British consumers waste approximately £1.7 billion on unwanted Christmas presents, and produce 3 million tonnes of Christmas food waste. We have consumed 10 million turkeys, 370 million mince pies and 25 million Christmas puddings. So if your house is bursting at the seams, and you would like to recycle your unwanted Christmas presents, cards and wrapping paper, here are a few tips:
• Unwanted presents - if you know which shop the gift was bought from then try and take it back and get an exchange or credit note. If you have a gift receipt then you may be able to get a refund for your unwanted gifts.
• Sell unwanted gifts on sites like Gumtree or e-bay, they provide consumers the opportunity to sell any unwanted gifts relatively easily.
• ‘Re-gifting’ is a great way to ‘recycle’ your unwanted gifts. This concept is straight forward - keep your unwanted gifts and give them to someone else. But make sure you don’t give them back to the person who gave them to you.
• Donate unwanted gifts to charity.
• Turn this years Christmas card into gift tags for next year
• Send gift tokens to save on waste and to let the recipients choose what they would like to buy.
• Recycle your old Christmas lights, or any other electrical or electronic items, using the electrical appliances recycling facilities in your local area. Small appliances (such as hairdryers, electric shavers, irons, radios, toasters, etc) can be recycled at the corresponding recycling bank at Asda or Tesco’s.
• Re-cycle wrapping paper by lining draws, wooden trays or save and re-use for next year’s presents. Save the cardboard rolls and use them for next years Christmas crackers, or stuff paper into them and use them as kindling if you have a fire.