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How to reduce plastic usage over Christmas

We’re on our way to the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas! Spirits are uplifted, the nights are drawing in and you (hopefully) get to take a Christmas break enabling you to unwind and enjoy the festivities.

What’s not to love about this time of year? It’s hard to pick a fault other than the fact the plastic usage in each of our household is through the roof. Not necessarily from what we’re buying but more so from the lovely gifts, toys and presents we have been so lucky to receive.

We can all see the plastic that encases our products, especially children toys, but it should still be a luxury we can enjoy without the guilt and the worrying effects this will have on our planet.

Whilst as a consumer we can’t control the materials used in the packaging of the products, we do have some control over other aspects that winter brings, and we’ve listed some simple ways to help with plastic usage and where possible reuse some household items.

Reuse bags from last year

I don’t know about you, but from Christmas and birthdays I have gift bags kicking about in a cupboard under the stairs. I hold on to them and store them for another occasion, where I can I re-gift them and pass them on to some one else. A pet peeve is having to buy gift bags, this eliminates having to repurchase and allows you to reuse the bag.

Once passed on, they can reuse for another gift and so on. Before you know this single bag has been used to it’s fullest before being recycled.

Choosing biodegradable or no glitter cards

As small and insignificant as glitter may seem, those small sparkly pieces of plastic are being washed or thrown away and ending up in the ocean. Causing even more damages to the seas and the marine life, which is already endangered.

When choosing your greeting cards, keep an eye out for the cards which have biodegradable glitter, or go one better and select the glitter free option.

Swap your Christmas crackers

Who would have thought, plastic on Christmas crackers? It wouldn’t have been considered before but as we’re made more aware of the plastics out there, it’s become more obvious.

As with a lot of products, we’re in a fantastic time where some brands are catching on and suppling us with alternatives. Doing a little bit of research online can point you in the right direction and show you a list of companies who can you supply you with an eco-friendly cracker, which all of the family can enjoy!

Use makeshift wrapping paper

Looking at all the pretty wrapping paper under the tree makes us feel warm and fuzzy, but does it really make a difference? Once we’ve been handed the gift, we tear it open, not giving the wrapping skills a second thought.

What happens next? We throw it away. Some wrapping papers have a thin layer of laminate or glitters through the paper making this unrecyclable.

Switch out the standard wrapping paper for newspaper or other eco-friendly papers out there that can easily be recycled.

 All it takes to make a difference is to be mindful of the choices we make and ensure we carry on saving the planet no matter the time of year.

Small swaps and smart decisions can make the Christmas season an eco-friendly one.