The issues with wrapping paper
- Wrapping paper is designed for single use only, and although some of us try to re-use it, realistically this can only be done once or twice before it is finally binned.
- Recycling wrapping paper can be difficult. This is due partly to the materials it is made of, which are typically non-recyclable: wrapping paper is often dyed and laminated; it can also contain non-paper additives such as gold and silver colouring, glitter and plastics; and often has sticky tape attached to it. Also, many of the fibres used in the cheaper types of paper are not strong enough to recycle. Landfill or incineration are all too often the only options.
- In the UK, we send 5 million tonnes of paper to landfill every year.
- In 1995, 11,000 tonnes of wrapping paper was sold in the UK alone.
- On average, it takes 6 mature trees to make a tonne of paper. This means approximately 50,000 trees are used to make the 8,250 tonnes consumed at Christmas (estimated Christmas use = 75% of total).
- To put this into context, 10,000 trees were eventually cut down to make way for the contentious Newbury bypass. So we are wasting 5 times more than this at Christmas time.Defra estimates that enough paper is used each year to gift-wrap the island of Guernsey. Defra also estimates that last year, 83 sq km of wrapping paper ended up in UK rubbish bins.
- The average American gives 42 gifts per year. It is estimated that if each used re-usable gift wrap for only 3 of these, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
- Finally, every year, a forest the size of Wales is required to provide all the paper used in Britain.
The solution is to switch to long lasting fabric gift wrap
Why not help tackle this by trying our reusable Wrag Wrap for a luxurious yet ethical gift wrap that lasts and lasts. Help highlight the issue of waste and challenge our throwaway culture. Some prefer to keep their Wrag Wraps in the family, passing them around from year to year. Others like to send them out on a journey from friend to friend, taking their positive message with them.
If you'd like to know what you can do to recycle your Christmas waste then click here www.recyclenow.com
Where does the raw material for wrapping paper come from?
Much of the paper used in the UK comes from Scandinavia, especially Sweden and Finland. Scandinavian forests have been so heavily exploited that just 5% of the old, natural forest remains. But even this is still being logged which, according to Friends of the Earth, is threatening many hundreds of plant and animal species.
Over 1,700 forest-dependent plants and animals are listed as endangered in Sweden, and over 700 in Finland. Many of these are reliant on the last remaining patches of old, natural forest.