Christmas is a time for giving, and gifts need wrapped. This wrapping paper is a big part of Christmas traditions with millions of people across the UK, young and old, getting up on Christmas morning and tearing the paper from their new gifts? A fair few I can imagine. This creates a massive increase is waste over these few days which must be dealt with.

There is enough wrapping paper used over Christmas in the UK to get all the way around the world a number of times. It’s insane to think how much wrapping paper is used over this short period of the year which will add to the large amounts of waste produced by everyone living in the UK. It currently works out that each person in the UK produces 431kg of waste per person. This is almost half a metric tonne of waste per person. This figure is somewhat staggering. Try to imagine what 431kg of household waste looks like. Not a pretty sight if you ask me.household waste ready for recycling

We are recycling more as a nation with 43% of household waste being recycled over 2011/12. This is an encouraging figure as it is higher than it has ever been before. By reducing the amount of waste through recycling it reduces our reliance on landfill sites as a means of removing waste. This can only be good for the environment as we become more conscious of the natural environment and being green.

It’s important, even over Christmas, to be responsible when disposing of all the extra Christmas waste. Wrapping paper is a paper product which makes it a prime candidate for recycling. This can then be made into new recycled paper products such as notebooks, envelopes and other paper goods.

With wine and beer flowing throughout the season of good will, remember that glass and aluminium can both be easily recycled. Aluminium is a valuable resource which is used for building many products such as car body panels, electrical power lines and aeroplane parts due to its weight, strength and its reasonable electric conductivity.  Glass is used around the world for windows and kitchenware and recycled glass can be used for so many applications. Many glass containers will just be recycled back into glass containers, reducing the need to create more using more natural resources. Some companies use iconic glass beer bottles and make them into drinking glasses as a novelty item. You can get Brown Ale bottle glasses which almost make you think it’s straight out the bottle.

Overall, disposal of waste is becoming somewhat of a problem in the UK as we run out of space which can be easily used to dispose of rubbish. Recycling is a way which we can reduce the environmental impact of our lavish lifestyles. By reusing and reprocessing our paper, plastic, glass and metals we can help to keep our world clean. Just remember to recycle your waste over Christmas as make sure not to bin anything which maybe be given a new life after recycling.

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Chris Brown
Christopher Brown is Consett Magazine's lead journalist. Chris enjoys meeting with a whole host of different people to report on what's happening in Consett, Co.Durham.


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