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How to keep waste to a minimum this Christmas

Published: 19 December 2019

Christmas Paper Christmas Wrapping Paper

The festive season is upon us and it’s the time of year for gifts, cards and food – but everyone should help us ensure that unnecessary waste is kept to a minimum.

This year the we've joined other authorities around the country in declaring a Climate Emergency.

Exeter has set itself the target of becoming Net Carbon Neutral by 2030. This will require some important lifestyle changes for everyone living in the city. And we can make a start this Christmas by following these simple tips.

Christmas Cards

Please DO NOT put cards in your green bin.

Paper mills don’t want them, so we can’t take them. This is a nationwide issue.

Many cards have glitter or foil on them, which contaminates the rest of the paper, and the quality of the card itself is very poor.

Exeter’s paper is recycled into quality newsprint. If we accepted cards, we’d have to sell it as a cheap, less recyclable ‘mixed paper’.

Unfortunately we don't have enough people or space in our plant to separate greetings cards from other paper/card, so we have had to say 'no' to all cards.

The greenest way to send a Christmas message is via an electronic device. You can even design your own last minute e-cards.

Wrapping paper

Like previous years, we are unable to take wrapping paper in the green bin.

The quality is so poor that paper mills can’t recycle it - it just turns into sludge.

Recycling centres won’t accept wrapping paper of any kind (paper or metallic) for recycling either.

Brown paper is still recyclable - you can even print it with water-based paint or inks and put it in your green bin (just don’t coat the entire paper). And newspaper or old comics also look good.

Food waste

Christmas may be the time we eat the most food, but it's also the time we throw most food away.

Recycle Devon have put together a great online book - Have Your Food and Eat It - full of hints, tips and recipes for using up your leftovers.

Visit the Recycle Devon website. to download your copy of the "Have Your Food and Eat It: Food waste recipe book"

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