12 days of Festive Recycling and Waste

This festive season join us as we countdown to the big day with our 12 days of recycling and waste campaign.

From tips on holding an eco-friendly festive party, savvy shopping to save money and the planet to ways to boost your well-being – this season we have you covered. 

Each of our 12 days will look at a different topic to give you ideas, save money and raise awareness on all things recycling and waste in the run up to the big day. 

Follow our campaign over on our social media channels and Linked In. 

The festive period is often a time of indulgence but it also means we create more waste – up to 30% more compared to the rest of the year. UK Christmas waste figures from the Wildlife and Countryside Link estimates that this year: 

  • Around 104,946 tonnes of plastic packaging are likely to end up burnt, in landfill, or exported overseas over the festive period 
  • 2,164 tonnes of aluminium foil could be thrown away and not recycled this Christmas  
  • Up to 109km2 of Christmas wrapping paper could end up in the waste bin – the same as 38 times the area of London 
  • Approximately 277,400 tonnes of cardboard are likely to be used over the holidays – enough to wrap around the world 10 times. 

Mintel figures for the festive period 2022 saw clothing as the most popular item to gift, followed by toiletries, books, food and drink.  

Day 1: This year will see the annual charity raising Christmas Jumper Day but why not think about reusing last year’s jumper or buy second hand from a local charity shop?  Every year, WRAP estimates 336,000 tonnes of clothing end up in landfill in the UK alone. 

Day 2: Plastic baubles are usually made from types of plastic not widely recycled in the UK and are likely to be covered with glitter which affects the recycling process. So why not ditch the plastic and make your own tree decorations?  You can reuse cardboard, string or wool, fabric scraps and buttons!   

Day 3: Practice Conscious Consumerism and choose ethical. There are so many products available that support charities or eco-causes. We’re joining up with charity Stand4Socks again - we’ve ordered warm and snuggly Thalia branded socks from them for our staff.  For every pair ordered, a pair will be donated to homeless charities across the world, including the UK. 

Day 4: According to www.gov.uk, Approximately 1 billion Christmas cards are thrown away every year – the equivalent of 33 million trees! Try and buy cards printed on FSC-certified, recycled card and are recyclable.  

Why not make make your own from last year’s cards? Remember just like wrapping paper, cards decorated with glitter or foil, can’t be recycled.  

Day 5: Support your local businesses and shop local. Locally made items tend to have less packaging and less 'shopping' miles – saving on harmful CO2 emissions.  And even better, you are helping support your local business community – win win! 

Day 6: Plan ahead, shop savvy, save money and the planet. Use your freezer for leftovers and buy frozen fruit and veg – it'll last longer and tastes just as good as fresh. The Love Food Hate Waste website  also has lots of great recipes for using your festive leftovers.  

Day 7: Sometimes it can all get a bit too much over the festive period. There's no better way to boost your mental health than by spending time in your garden or an outdoor space. If you are able to, being out in natural open spaces can improve mental health, focus and concentration. 

Day 8: We’re dreaming of a green chrismas party! Ditch the plastic, whether that’s food wrapping or cups and opt for fresh fruit, seeds and nut nibbles. Go back to nature and decorate with holly, ivy, pine and mistletoe – not forgetting to compost after. 

Day 9: We’re not going to pretend the festive period is fun for everyone. The seasonal holiday can be a time of isolation, depression and stress for some, especially those who have been bereaved or are on their own. There is help out there – check out our social media campaign for helpful phone numbers and websites 

Day 10: What’s on your Christmas list this year?  Figures from Mintel for shopping trends last Christmas saw consumers leaning towards alternative gifts with 1% being donations to charity. Once again we are gifting our employees a festive hamper through the sustainable procurement specialist, Ethstat. Every hamper goes towards supporting dementia families and fighting to end homelessness 

Day 11: Some not so jolly facts around Christmas waste. Did you know the amount of waste produced at Christmas is 30% higher than the rest of the year? 75% of Xmas cards end up in the general waste bin and are not recycled. UP to 39 million Christmas crackers are expected to be thrown away in the bin this year.   

Day 12: Merry Christmas! Seasons greeting from all Thalia Waste Management.  Thanks for joining us throughout the year and here’s to a safe, peaceful and a happy New Year.