Blue plastic sweet tub held aloft by a pair of white hands with the slogan

12 Days of Christmas – Recycling Facts & Tips

Wales is the world’s third best recycling nation, but we need to get to number one. Even though 94% of us recycle regularly, half of us don’t put recyclable items in our recycling.

During the festive season we create more waste than any other time of year. With the extra food we consume to the mountain of packaging from Christmas gifts, it’s a prime opportunity to recycle everything we can at home and here are some facts and tips:

  1. ‘Tis the season to recycle your tea bags

    There’s nothing more comforting than a cuppa on a cold winter’s day. You can drink tea, be merry and create energy this Christmas! Recycling just two tea bags can create enough electricity to fully charge a smartphone.

  2. Show plastic bottles who’s boss

    Put single-use plastic bottles in its place this Christmas! 90% of us recycle our plastic drinks bottles, detergent bottles and toiletry bottles. Empty, rinse and squash them before recycling. Leave on any lids, labels, pouring spouts and spray triggers, these are removed in the recycling process.

  3. Glass

    Making glass items from recycled materials uses around 95% less energy compared to using virgin or new materials. All glass bottles and jars can be recycled, whatever shape or size. Just give them a quick rinse and put the lid or cap back on before you put them out in your kerbside collection for recycling.

  4. Give the planet a gift – recycle your plastic chocolate tubs

    Most plastic can be recycled, including the tubs of chocolate and sweets we have around the house at Christmas! Currently, 90% of us in Wales recycle them once we’ve enjoyed our treats. Join the majority of people in Wales that say they recycle to “protect the environment” and recycle your plastic tubs!

  5. Have yourself a cleaner, greener Christmas

    Recycle your empty hand soap bottles when you’ve finished washing your hands after cleaning up your Christmas party. Leave on any lids, labels, pouring spouts and spray triggers, these will be removed in the recycling process. 90% of people in Wales recycle their empty hand soap bottles, just rinse, squash and recycle!

  6. Keep crushing cans this Christmas

    Whether you’ll be sipping on an alcoholic beverage or refreshing soft drink this Christmas, be one of the 92% of us in Wales who recycle our cans. Recycling one can saves enough energy to power a vacuum cleaner for an hour.

  7. Master your foil mince pie cases

    Metal can be recycled again and again without losing quality. Most of us in Wales recycle our foil. You can recycle empty mince pie foil cases and any foil used in your Christmas cooking (if it’s clean, unstained and free from food, grease and oil). Scrunching foil before recycling helps them through the recycling sorting process without getting lost.

  8. Conquer your cardboard packaging

    We consume more cardboard over Christmas than any other time of year with 92% of people in Wales recycling their cardboard. Remove any packaging tape and flatten boxes or cut them into smaller pieces to save space in your recycling container. And keep your cardboard dry if you can!

  9. Eat, recycle, be merry

    We generate a lot more food waste at Christmas, so make sure it all goes in your kitchen caddy. Recycle turkey bones, fruit and veg peelings, tea bags, eggshells and any leftovers that can’t be safely eaten later. Most people in Wales recycle food waste, and one full caddy can produce energy to power a TV for two hours, enough to watch Home Alone!

  10. Christmas trees

    'Real' Christmas trees are 100% recyclable. Check with your local council to see if they'll collect them with your garden waste or if you can take them to your local recycling centre. Please take any unwanted plastic Christmas trees, with or without embedded lights, to your local recycling centre.

  11. Wrapping paper

    Wrapping paper is difficult to recycle but there are some great eco alternatives such as brown paper and cloth wrapping that can be spruced up with festive bows and ribbons, and the great thing is, they can be used again next year!

  12. Christmas cards

    When it comes to recycling your Christmas cards, please remove any badges, bows, foil, glitter or ribbons first, as they can't be recycled. Envelopes can all be recycled too. If you have separate recycling containers for your ‘cardboard’ and ‘paper’, place your cards with your ‘cardboard’ and your envelopes with your ‘paper’.

To learn more about Wales Recycles’ Mighty Mission to help get Wales to number one, visit www.bemightyrecycle.org.uk

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Hand holding crushed cardboard with the slogan
Collection of recyclable items