If anything, 2018 taught us that there is a huge recycling problem in Ireland and we need to be more mindful of recycling.
Christmas is a time where there is a build up of a lot of plastic and packaging. If anything, 2018 taught us that there is a huge recycling problem in Ireland and we need to be more mindful of recycling.
This should start at home and you should also teach your kids how to recycle properly so they too, can adhere to good habits. Every little bit of recycling you do matters and there is no such thing as a wasted effort. However, where do you start and what can or can’t be recycled?
Christmas Tree Recycling
The best thing you can do with your Christmas tree is bring it to a recycling centre. Usually, there are plenty of local ones and you should be responsible and bring your tree there rather than leaving it out the back garden. It won’t take too long, and it is FREE!
Christmas Cards and Wrapping Paper
Most Christmas cards can be recycled once you remove the glitter or foil that may be on them. However, in some cases, it isn’t possible but there are a few options including cutting out bits of the cards for arts and crafts which the kids will love doing. Think ahead for next year and you could use them for homemade gift cards. Wrapping paper is a bit of a grey area as decorated or coloured paper is not recyclable.
The wrapping paper is dyed, and it has a plastic coating on it too that isn’t recyclable furthermore, some wrapping paper is so thin that it doesn’t have the fibres needed for recycling. Don’t forget that sticky tape on wrapping paper makes it difficult to recycle too. The best advice is to use old newspapers and dress gifts up with bows. If you are given gifts with wrapping paper, consider shredding them for next years gifts to put into boxes and act as a protector to delicate ornaments.
There is absolutely no excuse for not recycling your food in the brown bin. Cooked food can be thrown in the brown bin along with all those vegetable peelings and herb ends that no one wants. That way you are doing your bit for the environment.
You can recycle all clean and dry plastic bottles, milk or juice cartons, food tins, newspapers and cardboard. Glass bottles should be brought to your local bottle bank.
Packaging and Electrical
Electrical goods are always top of the Christmas lists especially for the kiddies, but this leaves a huge amount of packaging and leftover boxes. However, there are some options as cardboard once it is folded and flattened can be recycled. Those plastic blisters marked PET or PETE means it is recyclable too. Don’t forget these things are not recyclable including wire ties, bubble wrap, plastic windows, foam packaging and plastic film.
The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive means that stores can take unwanted TV’s, fridges, hair dryers or anything else with a plug or battery. Batteries can be recycled at shops that sell batteries too.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.