When the festive fun is over, it is time to recycle. Here’ is what to do with: Christmas trees / tree lights / decorations / Wreaths / cards / wrapping paper
ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOOD
I know it is pretty. I know we love our shiny tinsel and plastic baubles, but the sad truth is that our plastic causes problems.
Tiny little strands of tinsel and glittery fragments break off. They blow away. They fall into gutters and flow into drains and the sea and become microplastics. They are now in lakes, rivers, and water supplies.
There are an estimated 12 to 21 million tonnes of the most common types of microplastic in the top 200 meters of the Atlantic Ocean, according to the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC).
What happens next? Fish swallow them. Whales, dolphins, and birds eat the fish. The plastics damage the fishes’ internal organs and reduce their ability to breed. Fewer baby fish, fewer sea creatures, less food, and fishermen.
CAN WE HAVE FUN WITHOUT PLASTIC?
For thousands of years we decorated the winter festivals without a spot of plastic!
BRILLIANT HAND CRAFTED DECORATIONS made from felt, recycled paper, papier mâché, glass, recycled saris, embroidered cloth, brass, ceramic, and card, are sold online by charities like Oxfam, Traidcraft, UNICEF UK shop, V&A Museum, British Museum, National Trust, RAM Museum Exeter. By buying these beautiful decorations you save the planet, and support the charities.
Image: Good Things
MAKE YOUR OWN Try bright paints on card shapes against dark greens. Cut feathery wings for angels and birds. Tie lovely fabric ribbons. Icing sugar stars. Little bags of marzipan sweets.
Do your bit, and don’t forget to feed the Robin.
‘Real’ trees can be shredded into chippings and used in parks or woodland areas.
Artificial trees cannot be recycled but they can be reused for many years. If they are in good condition, they can be resold in charity shops. If not, take them to your nearest Recycling Centre.
Christmas lights or fairy lights can be recycled if you can’t fix them. Many local authorities now accept small electricals in the household recycling collection (check here for your area) or you can take them to your nearest Recycling Centre.
Glass baubles are not recyclable. Broken glass baubles should be wrapped and put in your rubbish bin.
Plastic baubles are not collected, and glitter is especially damaging to the environment. Broken plastic baubles must go in your rubbish bin.
Tinsel is also very damaging. Tie it up tight in a plastic bag and put it in your rubbish bin where it will be sent to the Energy from Waste Plant.
Natural wreaths can be chopped up and composted at home or in your garden waste collection, but NOT if they have glitter on them.
Plastic and artificial flowers, berries, leaves and decorations cannot be recycled. They must be removed and put in your rubbish bin.
Plain greetings cards can be recycled in most household recycling collections and at all Recycling Centres – check here for your area. Tear off glitter, plastic and ribbons which cannot be recycled. Reuse cards for gift tags where possible.
Plain wrapping paper is accepted in most household recycling collections – check here for your area. Remove Sellotape, ribbons, bows and string. Metallic and glittery paper is not recyclable and must go in your rubbish bin.