The festive season is rapidly approaching, and it comes with all the joys and stresses of gift giving.
Ever since wrapping paper was invented (the first recorded wrapped presents can be traced back to 2 BCE!), people around the world have used it to disguise their gift, creating a surprise for the recipient. Studies have shown that we all prefer receiving a wrapped gift rather than an unwrapped one; it seems to add more than the element of surprise; it makes it special too.
But wrapping paper has a large and negative environmental impact. You may wonder why, as wrapping paper is just paper, right? Easily recycled or biodegradable? Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Read on to find out why we shouldn't use the usual Christmas wrapping paper and why we should choose eco-friendly wrapping paper instead.
Wrapping paper is usually made from virgin paper produced from trees logged in unmanaged forests. Each year approximately 50,000 trees are projected to be felled to create wrapping paper. To give some perspective, that's a forest the size of Wales being cut down to supply all the wrapping paper used in the UK. And after we've unwrapped our presents? 227,000 miles of gift wrap is thrown away each year - enough to stretch to the moon and back. It comes in a non-recyclable plastic wrap too and, after we've used plastic tape to seal it, even the recyclable paper is no longer recyclable.
Most wrapping paper sold in everyday shops is made from low-quality fibres that have been coated with plastic, coloured with petrochemical dyes and/or covered in glitter. This makes it almost impossible to recycle, and it isn't easily biodegradable either. You can check if your paper needs to go in the rubbish or the recycling bin by doing a 'scrunch test'. Crush the paper into a ball, and if it stays that way when you let it go, it's fine to recycle. If it unfurls and tries to restore itself to its original shape, it's destined for landfill, along with the other plastic wrap.
Then there's glitter covered paper; you know the sort that sheds all over the floor when you're wrapping? It's usually made from a combination of aluminium and plastic, making it a microplastic. These little, almost invisible, pieces of plastic are extremely damaging to the environment - they end up in our waterways, in bird's and fishes' stomachs and have even been found in Arctic ice. One study from 2020 showed that these microplastics can become airborne and come down in the rain. Humans are estimated to ingest about 5 grams of microplastics a week.
If regular wrapping paper is out of the question, how can you make your loved ones gifts beautiful and ethically sound? Fear not, we have some answers right here:
Here at Wild and Stone, we have designed a beautiful range of eco-friendly wrapping paper and gift accessories. Our wonderful and stylish wrapping paper alternative has been developed and designed in the UK and is made from 100% unbleached, post-consumer waste paper.
The unique festive designs have been created with eco-friendly vegetable inks, making them vegan, pet-safe, biodegradable, and home compostable. Your order will come wrapped in biodegradable cellulose film wrap and delivered in a 100% recyclable kraft envelope. Take a look at our range of unique eco-friendly Christmas wrapping paper here.
Wild & Stone’s mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our wide range today.
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