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Some Festive Facts on Waste Management

Friday, January 3, 2014

As we all start to get ready for the Christmas break it’s easy to switch the focus to presents, festive decorations, mince pies and mulled wine.  But at this time of year it shouldn’t just be all about Christmas gifts and all that delicious food, as waste management becomes a significant issue across the UK.

During the festive period we use an enormous amount of resources that, in turn, generate a huge amount of waste.  Packaging, wrapping paper, food waste and even Christmas trees all lead to a surge in waste production at the end of December.

Here are some interesting facts which might make you think twice before you buy those extra bottles of booze or throw away that reusable packaging…

  • Each year in the UK we throw away 74 million mince pies, 5 million Christmas puddings and 2 million turkeys
  • If laid end to end, approximately 364,700 km of wrapping paper is used each year during the Christmas period. That’s enough paper to stretch around the equator nine times!
  • Over 4,500 tonnes of silver foil is used over Christmas. That’s enough foil to cover 1,500 square miles, which is an area about the same size as Suffolk!
  • Around 13,350 tonnes of glass waste is thrown away over the festive period in the UK. Recycling all of this glass instead of disposing it to landfill would save the CO2 equivalent of taking 1,300 cars off the road for a year.
  • Approximately 500 tonnes of old Christmas tree lights are thrown away each year, yet many people do not realise that they can be recycled.
  • Over 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are thrown away every January. Many local authorities now provide specific collection arrangements for Christmas trees to ensure they are composted and not disposed to landfill or just dumped.  Make sure you check with your local authority to see what arrangements they may have in place. 

Now that really is a lot of festive waste... 

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