This Christmas - or any time really, the best present for the planet is to replace plastic sticky tape, ribbons, non-recyclable paper and rubbish bags with plant-based alternatives.Up front, one of the most important things to bear in mind is that gift wrap with glittery designs covered in too much sticky tape can’t be recycled and goes straight to landfill where it adds to plastic pollution. Here’s 5 ways to green your Christmas without plastic:
Brown craft paper is a glitter-free, embellishment-free wrapping paper that’s easy to compost and recycle. Or for some more impact, use recycled cotton fabric to wrap presents. Give something like natural fabric clothing a second life that completely biodegradable and breaks down in compost.
If you must stick down your gift wrap, use washi tape. Paper-based sticky tape can be composted, unlike sticky tape which is plastic and goes to landfill. (If you are using masking tape, make sure you buy a paper on. Some masking tapes are made with polymer or acetate films rather than thin paper.)
You would be surprised how easy it is to tie a gift without tape. Think about simply securing your gifts with bakers twine in cotton, jute or hemp - or even organic cotton thread, twisted for thickness.
Wrap your gift in a reusable bag, beeswax wrap or if it's small, use a reusable beverage cup. It's a fantastic way to not only save on rubbish, but to give a beautiful second gift and promote the eco message.
Instead of plastic bows and ribbons, adorn gifts with pine cones, cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs and flowers. They look beautiful and are so much more thoughtful. (Whatever you do, don't use plastic plants, cherries or cones!)
Sort your rubbish after gift giving. Recycle paper and hard plastics. If you don't have a BioBag, check out our store. BioBags replace bin liners where ever you use them and help to reduce plastic pollution without leaving traces of micro-plastics that could end up in the environment. BioBags are the only type of bag that can go into green bins and compost bins and even if they go to landfill they’re still much better for the environment than using plastic. (Remember that you can't put any type of bags in general recycling bins.)
Tell your family that you'll take charge this Christmas and do the cleaning up so you can sort and recycle properly. And don't forget to tell your gift recipients that your wrapping is recyclable or compostable so they know what to do with it. We need to divert plastic away from landfills and marine environments. Only 9 percent of plastic waste is being recycled and the vast majority — 79 percent — is accumulating in landfills or in the natural environment as litter.No plastic should be disposed of to landfill because it’s a waste of a valuable resource. In a landfill, plastic breaks down into micro-plastic that pollutes the environment, which is ridiculous when you consider that it can readily be recycled into a chair or planking. Most of us are aware that plastic bags, including degradable and some biodegradable bags, leave micro-plastic pollution behind. Every piece of plastic ever created is still somewhere, unless it’s been burnt.
I am not just saying this because I make them! The facts are that if it doesn’t make it into a compost or green bin, a BioBag will still break down anywhere there’s oxygen and microorganisms, whereas plastic will live on and enter the eco-system for hundreds of years. Get a BioBag for yourself this Christmas!