On Christmas morning, you realize that the world is split in two: the ones tear the wrapping paper making it impractical and the ones who tear the presents with the duct tape. Whatever your favorite gift opening technique, once the gift offering ends, we'll all have one thing in common: a mountain of used wrapping paper for disposal - the problem is, not everything will be recyclable.
What is recyclable and what is not?
Regardless, a developed country such as the UK can throw away - in total - the equivalent of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper each year.
A Greenpeace research found that 1kg of wrapping paper is responsible for more than 3kg of CO2 load during its production process - largely due to the 1.3kg of coal operated to make it.
Worse still, the vast majority of this paper could not be recycled, as many will contain plastic (and other components such as glitter).
The traditional Christmas colors are green, red and gold. Did you know that the production of these inks can also make the paper recycling process unfeasible due to the toxics used.
What is often overlooked is that all this wrapping paper also creates the need for a lot of masking tape - with sometimes up to 40 million rolls!
To find out if the wrapping paper for the gifts you owned for Christmas is recyclable or won't be in the first place, check if it's decorated with aluminum foil or glitter? If the answer is 'yes', discard it as it is not recyclable. Also, any very thick glossy paper will likely have been laminated, meaning it will also not be recyclable. If in doubt, do the 'scrunch test'. If you make a ball of used paper and drop it, the recyclable wrapping paper will crumple, while the non-recyclable wrapping paper will open up and be added to the general waste.
This equates to a roll and a half of duct tape being used per home.
Try to make the right choices to avoid waste and consume ecological materials such as paper, cardboard and adhesive tape made from recyclable paper, and with this process you can recycle the entire package at once.
On the other hand, it stands out for using duct tape with plastic, don't forget to put the wrapping paper in the trash and remove the duct tape.
Sustainable wrapping for your gifts
Reuse bags or use paper bags
One of the more conventional ways to make gifts is to using recycled paper bags. Just use your imagination and give the wrapping a special touch, as soon as you manage to continue the recycling process or practice reuse.
If you can reuse bags, you can also reuse cardboard boxes that are stored and have no apparent use. This Christmas, turn old cardboard boxes into special gift wrapping.
Currently, one of the most original and sustainable and beautiful ways to make wrappings is the use of cloths that allow its reuse. The furoshiki is a traditional Japanese cloth used for over 1000 years to transport clothing and goods. Although there are specific furoshiki for wrapping, any square-shaped fabric can be used and different folds applied.
Draw on Packages
This tip is intended for the most daring to take a chance on drawing. You can draw directly on the bag / box and dozens of benefits: give a personal touch and make the wrapping more original.
Old newspapers, magazines, catalogs or maps
The funniest and most fun part of using old leaves to wrap presents is that it provides fun ways to present a gift wrap. You can use pages on a topic that the person you are going to give the gift to likes.
Reused Wrapping Paper
In the same perspective of using bags, you can also use wrapping paper. You can use wrapping papers from previous Christmases, or even gifts you receive during the year. For that to happen, you just have to be careful when opening your gift.
Pine Cones, dry leaves, trunks and pine leaves are typically traditional elements on Christmas Eve. They can be used to decorate gift wrappings, giving a rustic, elegant, and original look. Attention: take advantage of those that fall to the ground and avoid taking these elements directly from the trees.