Without a stash of neatly wrapped presents stashed under the tree, Christmas just wouldn't be the same, but our love for gorgeous packaging isn't exactly eco-friendly. Although paper is widely recyclable, most gift wrap is manufactured with non-recyclable bright foil and glitter, which must be thrown in the bin.
300,000 tonnes of card packaging is said to be used during the festive season; compare this to the fact that it takes 20 full-grown trees to produce one tonne of virgin paper; this is an eye-watering 6 million trees, and because most wrapping paper contains sparkles, glitters, sequins, foils, textures, and plastics, it cannot be recycled and thus ends up in landfills.
Fortunately, we have plenty of bright and festive wrapping paper available that doesn't have to end up in a landfill, all created from recyclable materials.
Remove any adhesive tape and decorations such as ribbons and bows before recycling, as these usually cannot be recycled. Wrapping paper can only be recycled if it passes the scrunch test. Plain and brown paper wrap can be recycled, but foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot and must be thrown in the rubbish.
It's pretty simple to know if your paper is recyclable. All you need to do is crumple up the wrapping paper and roll it into a ball. Then open your hand; if the paper remains in a ball, it's probably recyclable. It's not recyclable if it unfolds and bounces back open.
Regular wrapping paper is recyclable unless it has non-paper additives like metallic flakes, coloured shapes, glitter and plastics. Wrapping paper that is foiled, metallic, or excessively laminated should also be thrown rather than recycled.