Wales is currently third in the world for recycling, which is pretty incredible if you ask us. However, we know that Wales is more than capable of reaching number one. Even though 94% of us recycle regularly, half of us don’t put recyclable items in our recycling. It’s also been found that a quarter of the average rubbish bin is made up of food waste - and 83% of this could have been eaten.
During the festive season, we create more waste than any other time of year. From the extra food we consume (and sometimes throw away when it could be eaten!) to the mountain of packaging from Christmas gifts, it’s a prime opportunity to recycle everything we can at home, explore more reuse options, use our food caddies to create Welsh power and avoid feeding the bin.
‘Tis the season to recycle your tea bags
There’s nothing more comforting than a cuppa on a cold winter’s day. You can drink tea, be merry and create energy this Christmas! Recycling just two tea bags can create enough electricity to fully charge a smartphone.
Show plastic bottles who’s boss
Put plastic bottles in their place this Christmas! 90% of us recycle our plastic drinks bottles, detergent bottles and toiletry bottles. Empty, rinse and squash them before recycling. Leave on any lids, labels, pouring spouts and spray triggers, these are removed in the recycling process.
Making glass items from recycled materials uses around 95% less energy compared to using virgin or new materials. All glass bottles and jars can be recycled, whatever shape or size. Just give them a quick rinse and put the lid or cap back on before you put them out in your kerbside collection for recycling.
Give the planet a gift – recycle your plastic chocolate tubs
Most plastic can be recycled, including the tubs of chocolate and sweets we have around the house at Christmas! Currently, 90% of us in Wales recycle them once we’ve enjoyed our treats. Join the majority of people in Wales that say they recycle to “protect the environment” and recycle your plastic tubs!
Have yourself a cleaner, greener Christmas
Recycle your empty hand soap bottles when you’ve finished washing your hands after cleaning up your Christmas party. Leave on any lids, labels, pouring spouts and spray triggers, these will be removed in the recycling process. 90% of people in Wales recycle their empty hand soap bottles, just rinse, squash and recycle!
Master your foil mince pie cases
Metal can be recycled again and again without losing quality. Most of us in Wales recycle our foil. You can recycle empty mince pie foil cases and any foil used in your Christmas cooking (if it’s clean, unstained and free from food, grease and oil). Scrunching foil before recycling helps them through the recycling sorting process without getting lost.
Conquer your cardboard packaging
We consume more cardboard over Christmas than any other time of year with 92% of people in Wales recycling their cardboard. Remove any packaging tape and flatten boxes or cut them into smaller pieces to save space in your recycling container. And keep your cardboard dry if you can!
Eat, recycle, be merry
We generate a lot more food waste at Christmas, so make sure it all goes in your kitchen caddy. Recycle turkey bones, fruit and veg peelings, tea bags, eggshells and any leftovers that can’t be safely eaten later. Most people in Wales recycle food waste, and one full caddy can produce energy to power a TV for two hours, enough to watch Home Alone!
'Real' Christmas trees are 100% recyclable. Check with your local council to see if they'll collect them with your garden waste or if you can take them to your local recycling centre. Please take any unwanted plastic Christmas trees, with or without embedded lights, to your local recycling centre.
Wrapping paper is difficult to recycle but there are some great eco alternatives such as brown paper and cloth wrapping that can be spruced up with festive bows and ribbons, and the great thing is, they can be used again next year!
When it comes to recycling your Christmas cards, please remove any badges, bows, foil, glitter or ribbons first, as they can't be recycled. Envelopes can all be recycled too. If you have separate recycling containers for your ‘cardboard’ and ‘paper’, place your cards with your ‘cardboard’ and your envelopes with your ‘paper’.
Read more about Wales Recycles’ Mighty Mission to help get Wales to number one.