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Christmas waste in numbers – 300,000 tonnes of waste chucked out this week

The staggering amount of waste generated at Christmas can be finally revealed, with a total of 302,913 tonnes of waste being dumped this week alone, as bins are filled to the brim.

“Even with a slightly toned-down Christmas this year, we all know how full the bins get after Christmas – it’s now clear the huge environmental impact all this waste has. The numbers are simply astonishing – 2,000 tonnes of uneaten cheese chucked out for example”

The online survey carried out by TradeWaste.co.uk asked 4,500 people about the contents of their Christmas bins – the results are remarkable, with food waste and food packaging creating the most waste this year.

“People seem to have taken to eating well this year, with lockdowns and all the doom and gloom – it seems comfort eating has become a National institution, however nearly 5,000 tonnes of half-eaten mince pies where thrown out – seems a terrible shame to me!”, adds Green.

Christmas food lovers (and haters) chucked out this year:

  • 141,525 tonnes of food packaging
  • 50,544 tonnes of leftover Christmas dinners
  • 24,600 tonnes of glass drink bottles
  • 7,500 tonnes of drink cans
  • 4,800 tonnes of leftover mince pies
  • 2,000 tonnes of cheese

It is not only leftover food waste which is filling the nations bins – wrapping paper, cards, decorations and of course Christmas trees are all being thrown out this week – all 12,000 tonnes of them.

Luckily much of the waste created at Christmas can be recycled with trees being shredded into chippings, cards being munched for paper and some wrapping paper can be recycled too.

The interesting one is Christmas lights – these should not be put in a general waste bin, instead they need to be taken to a local authority waste site and put in the small electricals skip.

Seasonal goods we are chucking out this week include:

  • 30,000 tonnes of Christmas cards
  • 17,444 tonnes of Christmas wrapping paper
  • 12,500 tonnes of Christmas decorations
  • 12,000 tonnes of Christmas trees
  • 68,488 miles of broken Christmas lights

“It’s really difficult to reduce waste at Christmas, but we can all do our bit. It’s really important to split up all the waste you have and put it in the correct bin – some need to be processed differently – like broken Christmas lights. I just want to know who is chucking out mince pies, seems such a travesty!”, concludes Charlotte Green from recycling firm TradeWaste.co.uk.

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