It’s the most wonderful time of the year… And as it turns out, it’s also the most wasteful!

First and foremost, happy new year to each and every one of you! Now the decorations have been stored away and we’re back into our weekly routines, have you thought about why us Brits go overboard when it comes to Christmas? Or the amount of packaging used?

Between Christmas gifts, cards, decorations and so on, did you know the UK produces over 665,000 tons of Christmas waste every year? The festive holidays are by far the most wasteful of all our annual holidays by a staggering 15 times!

Inside this article, Elliott Packaging will take a look at the facts and figures of Christmas waste along with looking at how sustainable packaging, including how using sustainable packaging products can look to reduce waste by up to 374,000 tonnes.

How much do we really waste at Christmas?

According to statistics provided by, here is how much is wasted at Christmas.

  • 289,171 tonnes of card packaging
  • 125,000 tonnes of Christmas plastic waste
  • 4,200 tonnes of foil from turkey wrapping
  • 1 billion Christmas cards
  • 227,000 miles of Christmas wrapping paper waste
  • 270,000 tonnes of food waste, including 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings, 74 million mince pies and 2.2 million kilograms of cheese
  • 6 million Christmas trees
  • 32.9 million advent calendars

Can sustainable packaging help reduce waste?

Don’t worry, we don’t need to cancel Christmas.

Although items such as cardboard, paper, aluminium and even certain types of plastic can easily be recycled, other items found in gift packaging and cards that contain polystyrene, plastic film, plastic tape and glitter which prove to be troublesome and end up quickly filling landfills.

According to the survey, if everybody recycles more correctly and chooses to use more sustainable packaging products, the UK can reduce Christmas packaging waste by up to 374,000!

By choosing sustainable packaging products, this will offer a number of key benefits which include;

  • sustainable packaging is extremely versatile
  • As a business, sustainable packaging will improve your brand image by being more ‘Green’.
  • It will reduce transportation costs
  • Significantly reduce your carbon footprint
  • sustainable packaging material can be easily reused and/or recycled.

Along with switching to sustainable packaging products, planning and managing what food you buy over the festive season can also largely contribute to reducing waste with many of us Brits throwing away food and it’s packaging we haven’t even touched.

Recommended sustainable packaging alternatives

jute tote bag packagingJute Tote Bags – It’s very easy to get carried away with buying christmas presents. By keeping jute tote bags with you, you will very quickly eliminate buying plastic bags when you’re on the high street, or even gift presents wrapped in festive jute tote bags. Jute tote bags are also washable so can be used again and again.

Kraft Paper Mailing Bags – As an eco-friendly alternative to plastic mailing bags, our paper mailing bags are perfect for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint by sending products through the post, and also work for gift giving if you are sending presents to loved ones through the post.