Simple swaps to help the planet this festive season

Did you know that over the Christmas period the UK generates 30% more waste.


Did you know that over the Christmas period the UK generates 30% more waste[1], of which 125,000 tonnes is plastic[2] and much of this ends up in landfill? So, there’s no better time of the year to make more sustainable choices to protect our planet. To help you on your way to a greener festive season, here’s three simple plastic-free swaps we can all make.

Use paper wrapping paper 

Sounds like an obvious tip but did you know that lots of wrapping paper contains plastic and can’t be recycled? In the UK, we throw away enough wrapping paper each Christmas to wrap around the earth more than eight times![3]. So, it’s really important we reduce this wastage and stop adding to landfill.

Firstly, avoid paper containing plastic. If it’s glossy, it’s likely to be laminated with plastic and therefore can’t be recycled. The same goes for foil and glitter wrap as well. A simple test will help – if it scrunches and stays that way it can be recycled. Brown paper is a great more environmentally friendly alternative and can be personalised with stamps or bows. 

Secondly, cut down on your usage of wrapping paper generally. You could use cotton tote bags, which can be used again for shopping, or baskets which are great for keeping toys and things in, around the home. 

Also be aware of Sellotape, which contains plastic. There are plant-based and paper alternatives which are much kinder to the environment.

Gift an experience 

A staggering £42 million worth of unwanted Christmas gifts are thrown into landfill each year, and this must stop if we are to preserve the planet for future generations.[4] With gifts from Santa, family and friends, children can end up with heaps of toys for Christmas, many of which are likely to contain plastic. 

Don’t add to the mountains of plastic gifted over the festive season and instead give an experience that will create amazing memories for years to come. Most attractions, such as zoos, museums, theme parks, the National Trust and many more offer gift vouchers. 

If you’re buying for a young baby, then perhaps think about a gift that would be helpful for the parents. Subscriptions to products that are in constant use, such as Aqua Wipes, will always be welcome and help with their budget. Parents will love the convenience of a delivery straight to their door and you know it won’t go to waste! 

Choose a real Christmas tree

Christmas trees are the festive focal point in homes, businesses and public spaces but when it comes to choosing your tree type, remember to keep it real. If you have a much-loved artificial tree that comes out year after year, then great and keep that tradition going to avoid waste. But, if you’re considering purchasing a new tree, then there’s definite changes you can make to be more sustainable.  

Instead of going artificial or buying a real cut down spruce, go for a potted tree with the roots still attached. This will allow you to keep the tree outside when Christmas is over and with a little tender loving care it should be perfect for using for years to come. A great way to avoid plastic and some of the six million trees that are thrown away each year.[5]

Reducing plastic and waste is a priority year-round, keep an eye out for future blogs from Aqua Wipes to support you with this and top tips over on our Instagram page.