• Susan

UK Christmas waste revealed!


So much attention goes to the prepping and purchasing at Christmas, but very little to the waste we produce. Nine in 10 Britons – around 57.8 million people – celebrate Christmas, making it the biggest seasonal event in the UK with an annual spend of £24.4 billion.



The UK produces over 688,000 tonnes of Christmas waste every year, making it the most wasteful national holiday with 15 times the amount of waste compared to any other celebration.


Now, www.packagingonline.co.uk has revealed a breakdown of the Christmas waste we throw out each year:

  • 289,171 tonnes of card packaging.

  • 125,000 tonnes of Christmas plastic waste.

  • 4,200 tonnes of foil from turkey wrapping.

  • One billion Christmas cards.

  • 227,000 miles of Christmas wrapping paper waste.

  • 270,000 tonnes of food waste, including two million turkeys, five million Christmas puddings, 74 million mince pies and 2.2 million kilograms of cheese.

  • Six million Christmas trees.

  • 32.9 million advent calendars.


Whilst these numbers may seem staggering, the good news is plenty of holiday waste is preventable. Cardboard, card, paper, aluminium and certain plastics can be recycled. This excludes polystyrene, plastic film, plastic tape and items with glitter, so try to avoid these items by switching to sustainable alternatives like eco friendly tape or eco loose fill. If everyone recycles correctly, the UK’s gifting date waste will decrease by as much as 374,000 tonnes!


You can also plan your food and meals carefully so that you don’t buy too much and compost any waste you do generate. While food waste might not seem a big deal, studies show food losses and waste account for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions – around three times the global emissions from aviation.


To find out more, click here