Christmas recycling and reuse top tips | South Norfolk Council

Christmas recycling and reuse top tips

Tis the season for recycling and reducing food waste 

The UK is estimated to use almost 300,000 tonnes of card packaging at Christmas, according to leading recycling campaign Recycle Now – a staggering amount which, when laid out, would cover the return distance between London and Lapland  103 times – and would wrap Big Ben almost 260,000 times.

We know Christmas time can increase the amount of recycling and waste for families. So we have put together some ideas to help you save money and resources over Christmas, and a reminder of what can and cannot be recycled in your green bin.

  • Reuse old Christmas cards as gift tags or to make your own cards
  • Avoid purchasing disposable items such as plastic cutlery and paper plates
  • Save packaging on gifts - buy a gift experience - theatre tickets, days out etc.
  • Reuse paper as packaging - shredded paper is a great alternative to bubble wrap
  • Reuse egg cartons to safely store tree baubles for next year
  • Encourage children to get into the Christmas spirit by donating unwanted toys to your local charity
  • Buy a Christmas tree grown in a container or with it's roots so you can plant it in your garden, or recycle your real tree in your garden waste bin.
  • For ideas to use up any leftovers or to try new recipes see Love Food Hate Waste
  • Write a shopping list - this will help you only buy the food you need and not forget what you already have in the cupboards!
  • Reduce your food waste - freeze any leftovers or perishable items such as bread to help them last longer
  • Gadgets such as food huggers and Tupperware keep food fresher for longer
  • Home compost all your fruit and veg peelings - sprouts make a great addition to your compost bin!


Recycle in your green bin:

Yes please

  • Christmas cards
  • Envelopes
  • Wrapping paper (remember the foil scrunch test. If the paper doesn't stay scrunched in a ball we cannot recycle it)
  • Sweet tins

No thanks

  • Tinsel
  • Decorations
  • Plastic trees
  • Plastic toys
  • Christmas lights and other electrical items (Take free of charge to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre or to a Reuse & Recycling event)

Too much recycling for your bin?

We have an extensive number of recycling banks throughout the district for glass, paper, textiles, toys and books.