How much rubbish does Christmas produce?

Christmas is upon us, and as we get ready to celebrate with our loved ones by sitting around the Christmas tree, gift giving, eating food and spending quality time together, we don’t really think about the massive waste that Christmas produces. With all the wrapping paper, extra food scraps, present packaging, ribbons, bows, Christmas trees, name tags and single use plastic food packaging we use during this month, it’s no surprise that the landfills receive tonnes of rubbish during this season.

Out of 195 countries, just over 160 countries in the world celebrate Christmas, which means there is a lot of extra trash being thrown away worldwide. The UK alone creates 30% more rubbish than usual and buys one billion Christmas cards during this season. The US produces an extra 25 million tons of trash and over 5 million tonnes of food ends up in the Australia landfill. The city of Auckland, New Zealand produces 10% more waste during Christmas than normal and 15% more recyclables, which adds up to 8351 tonnes more waste than other times of the year.

Why is this such a problem you ask?

Well, the more waste that is thrown into the landfill, the more CO2 is released into the air and the more the earth suffers for it. Also, don’t forget that the more rubbish we produce and use, the more it ends up in our ocean, destroying our wildlife.

How can you reduce waste during this festive season?

Start with using small recyclable boxes, posters, shopping bags, maps, artwork, tea towels, old magazines and newspapers to wrap presents or reusable tins to store presents in. This results in less wrapping paper being used once and then being sent to landfill. Some people don’t realize that not all wrapping paper is recyclable, if it’s metallic or shiny it cannot be recycled because foil can be present in the paper, so try to wrap presents in other things.

The next step is buying reusable presents or making homemade gifts. If you buy a reusable gift that can be passed on and not end up in the tip, then that would protect the landfills from being filled with small little plastic gifts that are thrown away after two times of being used. Homemade gifts like cookies, jam or a painting are also good because they don’t come in plastic packaging and can be made by organic ingredients. Likewise, another great environmental gift can be a small plant or a solar-powered toy, so batteries aren’t needed, or a reusable bottle, so they don’t have to use single use plastic bottles. Other gifts that don’t use plastic packaging are providing a babysitting service, a trip for your loved ones, either tickets to the museums, movies, concerts, sport events or going out for dinner. You can also buy them memberships for karate classes or spas or buy them a subscription to Netflix. Also, don’t forget to buy recyclable Christmas cards or send E-cards. has a great list of environmentally friendly gifts and tricks to stay ahead of the game this Christmas. Click here to see their list!

Finally, recycle and reuse everything you can this Christmas! Put the recyclable wrapping paper in the recycling bin, share the left-over food with guests so nothing goes to waste and give unwanted gifts to charity shops.

0800 DUMP ME rubbish removal will be closed on Christmas day until the 6th of January 2020.

If you have any rubbish you would like to get rid of after christmas, don’t be afraid to contact us and arrange a date and time for pick up.


NZ Herald


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