Dec 172021


Reduce, Reuse and Recycle this Christmas

Christmas is creeping closer and the shops are starting to stock their shelves with seasonal treats, so our minds are already turning to what food we should be eating, the presents we want to buy and how we want to decorate our homes.

If you’re already planning your festivities, have you thought about how you can make this Christmas a more sustainable one?

West Devon Borough Council are keen to help support residents to choose the most environmentally friendly gifts and wrapping paper this Christmas. With climate change a global concern, highlighted by the recent COP26 conference, it is important that everyone do their bit to try to reduce waste.

Cllr Lynn Daniel, West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Recycling and Waste, said: “Our recycling rates are already really good, thanks to our residents’ ongoing efforts. This Christmas we know that everyone is busy, but we’re asking that we all do our bit for climate change by choosing our festive presents and food carefully to try and reduce packaging wherever possible.

“After choosing your gifts, perhaps look at how you choose to wrap your presents. Why not try wrapping with material or brown paper instead of glittery, glossy wrap, which can’t be recycled due to the fibres within it? This doesn’t have to look plain or boring as there are some truly beautiful wrapped gift examples online. Visit Recycle Devon and WRAP online who have great tips and advice.

“You could also think about supporting a charity as a gift idea. This is a great alternative to buying a present for someone who doesn’t need anything or is tricky to buy for.

“When shopping for Christmas food, if possible buy local instead of from supermarkets, or use refillable containers to reduce plastic waste. Anything to reduce our impact on the environment. If that isn’t possible, then recycle as much as possible by recycling the smaller items like the mince pie containers and cranberry sauce jars along with the larger items like the large scooter or bike cardboard boxes.

“Christmas always means there will be lots of extra cardboard packaging. However, the good news is this can be flattened and placed into recycling boxes, but please help us by making sure this is under 75cm long, so our vehicles can collect them.

“Let us all do our bit to save the planet for future generations.

Click here for more information from West Devon Borough Council>


Some of the trickier items to recycle…

Christmas creates a lot of waste – it’s not always obvious what is recyclable and what isn’t, so here’s a quick guide on what to do when disposing of some of the more tricky items you might have this Christmas…

Christmas Cards

Any Christmas cards with no glitter, stuck on bits or shiny bits can be recycled; put it into recycling box 2.

Glittery cards, cards with shiny bits or stuck on decorations should go in the black sack.

Food Leftovers

Do you have a habit of cooking a bit too much over the Christmas period? You can put leftovers into your food caddy, including…

  • Turkey, chicken or meat carcasses
  • Uncooked or cooked food waste
  • Fruit and veg peelings, nut shells and fruit stones
Online Delivery Boxes

If you’ve done a lot of your Christmas shopping online, you’ll undoubtedly have lots of packaging left over! If you’ve got cardboard boxes, squash them flat and put them in Recycling box 2.

Sadly, bubble wrap, plastic packaging and polystyrene needs to go into your black sack.

Useful Links

The Borough Council has produced a handy guide to Christmas, so recycling information and Christmas dates are ready at hand when you need them:

Recycle Devon have also got a huge range of helpful information on their website, including: