Christmas gift wrapping doesn't have to be complicated

Christmas gift wrapping doesn't have to be complicated

You might have guessed that here at The Plastic Free Shop, we are all about helping you to reduce the amount of plastic (specifically single use) that you use.

One of the big sources of plastic waste that we often don't even think about is good old fashioned sticky tape. Not only is sticky tape made of plastic, it can't get recycled and therefore gets thrown away into landfill.  Due to its sticky nature, it can be hard to remove from wrapping paper, which makes the paper un-recyclable too. 

Seeing as in the UK alone over 6 million rolls of tape will be sold in the run up to Christmas, we reckon that its time to rethink how we wrap presents (because we really don't want to stop getting presents!)

We've compiled a little list of easy ways to help you reduce all sorts of plastic (including sticky tape) this Christmas without over-complicating things.

Image shows to boxes wrapped with kraft paper and decorated with string, ribbons and natural items such as holly and pines
  1. Choose wrapping paper which is actually made of paper (ideally recycled if at all possible), but at the very least consider avoiding the paper which is shiny or covered in glitter. You can reuse paper too - nothing says 'Happy Christmas/Birthday' better than a gift wrapped in pre-loved paper. If you are feeling adventurous, you could even try wrapping parcels with pieces of fabric!
  2. Be creative with decorating gifts - try natural string, paper strips or ribbon bows rather than plastic pre-made bows or decorations. 
  3. Use last years cards if you still have them (or any cards at all really) and cut them up to make tags for your gifts.
  4. See if you can use less plastic tape to secure your parcels - unless they are being sent in the post, you don't need to cover every single edge with tape. Also consider using paper-based tape - we use paper tape here for all our parcels, and they arrive in great condition!. Or you could even try ditching the tape altogether and getting inventive with string!
  5. Look after the decorations you already have - chances are you've got a big stash in the attic, and with a bit of love, they'll last for a very long time. 
  6. Get crafty and go old fashioned - try making your own paper chains or hanging decorations and or heading outside to collect fallen pine cones, twigs and holly. 
  7. Eat the decorations - take inspiration from Europe where edible decorations are everywhere. From dried orange slices with cloves stuck in them (make your house smell amazing) to gingerbread tree decorations, you'll find there are plenty of ways of making decorations that also taste fab! And if you aren't feeling creative, chocolate coins are a good first step - just squidge up all the foil pieces together before popping it into the recycling after you've sampled them.
  8. You can't change everything, and everyone at once. Even if you just spend a few minutes de-taping your wrapping paper before putting it into the recycling, you'll be helping reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfill.

To help you this Christmas, we've got paper wrapping tape, some lovely recycled wrapping paper, and even some gorgeous wrapping cloths for you to try.  Just take a quick look at our Gifts section on the website if you'd like to find out more.