East Suffolk residents are being encouraged to consider the environment this Christmas by choosing recyclable products wherever possible and reducing their household waste.
An estimated 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging and 83km2 of wrapping paper is thrown away in the UK every Christmas. However, much of this waste could be recycled at home through the blue household recycling bin.
Most wrapping paper is recyclable, with the exception of paper with glitter or foil-effect papers. Cardboard packaging and cards without glitter are also recyclable through the blue wheeled bin, as well as hard plastic, aluminium foil, newspaper, magazines, cans and plastic bottles.
Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the Environment said: “Christmas will be different for many of us this year, but I hope it’ll still be a time for us all to relax, enjoy ourselves and spend time with the family and friends who are included in our household or Christmas bubble.
“Christmas is also a time where a huge amount of additional waste is created and much of this can be recycled. We appreciate that what can and cannot be recycled in the blue bin at home can be confusing however paper, card, plastic bottles and cans can all easily be recycled. If residents are unsure whether an item is recyclable, we would urge them to check the Suffolk Recycling website or ask us through social media.
“We would also like to encourage people to consider what they are buying this Christmas and choose recyclable materials if possible, as well as being mindful of overbuying food which may ultimately go to waste. There is a wealth of ways we can help reduce the amount of waste produced this Christmas and if each household can make just a few small changes, it would make a huge difference across East Suffolk.”
According to the Suffolk Waste Partnership, a staggering 2 million turkeys, 74 million mince pies and 17.2 million sprouts are thrown away every Christmas. To help save money and reduce the amount of food you throw away, try buying only what you need. If you do have leftover, you can either freeze this or use to create another meal, such as casseroles, soups, salads and much more. For more information on reducing food waste and recipe ideas for any leftovers, visit Food Savvy.
If you’ve bought a real Christmas tree this year, this can be disposed of in your garden waste after the festive season – remember to remove all decorations and make sure no pieces are larger than 1.5 inches (4cm) in diameters. The lid must be able to close completely. If you don’t have a garden waste bin, you can also compost your Christmas tree by cutting it into smaller pieces or recycle it in the green container at your nearest Recycling Centre.
Alternatively, some organisations are offering to collect real Christmas trees to help raise money for charity, however, these schemes are postcode specific. For more information and to check if you’re able to recycle your tree through such schemes, visit EACH or Just Giving or check with your local charity organisations.
If you’re stuck for gift ideas or would like to take a greener approach to gifting this year, why not consider making your own gifts or even upcycling gifts? You can find lots of great ideas with Suffolk Recycling.
See what can be recycled through your kerbside recycling bins or at your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre here.
To check any changes to your bin collections during the Christmas and New Year period, please see your bin hanger or online.