Christmas recycling – an easy guide

IT’S a question that will plague hundreds of households this afternoon – can I recycle my Christmas crackers?

Fortunately, recycling firm Biffa has come up with a handy guide to help sort out the landfill from the recycling.

Steve Oulds, the firm’s national commercial manager, said: “We know it can often be tricky working out what should go into our recycling bins, especially at Christmas when there is lots of extra waste – Biffa recycling centres receive about 40% more material than usual during the first two weeks of January, including a lot of things that can’t actually be recycled.

“Our simple guide of what to do with typical festive waste will help people have a greener Christmas this year and our number one tip is: always double check packaging to see if it can be recycled.”

Biffa’s guide to Christmas recycling:  

  1. CHRISTMAS CARDS: Simple Christmas cards are recyclable – but those with embellishments such as glitter and plastic are not, so need to go in the general waste. 
  2. WRAPPING PAPER: Not all wrapping paper is recyclable. If it has glitter or finishing effects like gloss it isn’t. A good test to tell if it is recyclable is to scrunch it in a ball – if it doesn’t stay scrunched after opening your hand, it cannot be recycled. 
  3. POLYSTYRENE: While cardboard and paper packaging can usually be recycled, polystyrene, which is often used to protects toys and presents, cannot. 
  4. BUBBLE WRAP: Unfortunately, because bubble wrap is made of complex plastic, it cannot go in the recycling bin. 
  5. ELECTRICS: If you are replacing tree lights this year, please do not put the old ones in the recycling – for electric goods to be recycled, they need to be sent to specialist electrical recycling centres.
  6. CRACKERS: Crackers can be recycled if they are made from simple card – any decorations and contents should be removed before the rest is recycled.
  7. FOOD WASTE:  If you have a food waste bin, all unwanted food at Christmas such as turkey carcasses, vegetables or stale mince pies can be put in these.
  8. CHRISTMAS TREES: Christmas trees can be recycled – but not in your household recycling. Make sure you find out the right place to send your tree, or the date your council collects them where you live.

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