What you can and can't recycle over Christmas

Wrapping paper, Christmas trees and cards are among the items that can be recycled

Wrapping paper, Christmas trees and cards are among the items that can be recycled - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Community leaders are urging residents to choose recyclable products over Christmas in a bid to reduce household waste - so what can and can't be recycled?

An estimated 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging is sent to landfill in the UK every Christmas when it could be put in the recycling bin.

Most Christmas wrapping paper is able to recycled, with the exception of those containing glitter or of a foil-effect.

Similarly, most cards and cardboard packaging can also be recycled - but those decorated with glitter must be disposed of with the rest of the household waste.

Hard plastic, aluminium foil, newspaper, magazines, cans and plastic bottles can also be placed in recycling bins.


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Real Christmas trees are another item that can be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner if they are placed in garden waste bins, provided all plastic decorations have been removed.

If you don’t have a garden waste bin, you can also compost your Christmas tree by cutting it into smaller pieces or recycle it in the green container at your nearest recycling centre.

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As well as decorations, leftovers from Christmas dinners can be frozen and reused to create another meal and reduce waste - such as casseroles, soups or salads.

East Suffolk Council has issued the guidance in a bid to cut down on waste and urged residents to choose recyclable materials this Christmas.

James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “Christmas will be different for many of us this year, but I hope it’ll still be a time for us all to relax, enjoy ourselves and spend time with the family and friends who are included in our household or Christmas bubble.

"Christmas is also a time where a huge amount of additional waste is created and much of this can be recycled.

"We appreciate that what can and cannot be recycled in the blue bin at home can be confusing.

"However, paper, card, plastic bottles and cans can all easily be recycled.

"If residents are unsure whether an item is recyclable, we would urge them to check the Suffolk Recycling website or ask us through social media.

"We would also like to encourage people to consider what they are buying this Christmas and choose recyclable materials if possible, as well as being mindful of overbuying food which may ultimately go to waste.

"There is a wealth of ways we can help reduce the amount of waste produced this Christmas and if each household can make just a few small changes, it would make a huge difference across east Suffolk."

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