THE big day is over and no matter how prepared we think we are, most of us still end up with mountains of card, paper and bottles to deal with after the big Christmas celebrations.
Recycling is one of the easiest things we can all do at home to tackle climate change.
On average, nearly two thirds (59 per cent) of what goes in the bin at home could have been recycled.
The Zero Waste Scotland Recycling Sorter tool can help end any confusion. It can tell you what goes in which colour bin wherever you are, so everyone can to do their bit.
Check out these tips from Zero Waste Scotland’s recycling expert Jenny Fraser and become a green pro.
You snow the drill
It’s always nice to receive a Christmas card from a loved one, so the last thing you want is for those good wishes to go to waste.
Most cards are paper-based so they can be recycled in your recycling bin at home – just make sure to remove ribbons, foil and glitter. Remember to recycle envelopes too.
If you’re feeling crafty, why not go one better and try reusing Christmas cards to make gift tags for presents, bookmarks or postcards.
You won’t foil the fun
After you’ve finished snacking on mince pies and chocolate coins, keep hold of the shiny foil wrapping as this can be recycled in the metals recycling bin at home.
You can include that extra-large foil used to cover your turkey too – just give it a clean first.
Get creative with leftovers
Ever tried turkey pizza? What about potato peel soup?
Nearly 50,000 tonnes of food and drink is expected to be binned in Scotland during the month of December alone.
That equates to around 760 million mince pies, or 11.7 million turkeys.
There are tonnes of tempting recipes on the Love Food Hate Waste Scotland website to help make leftovers into a tasty new meal.
Where unavoidable food waste does occur – like bones, eggshells and tea bags – it’s important to put it in the food waste caddy so it can be recycled. Doing so is way better for the planet and can help your scraps have a second life.
Christmas lights that have twinkled their last can be recycled at household waste recycling centres along with other waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
If it has a plug, uses batteries, needs charging or has a picture of a crossed-out wheelie bin on it – it can be recycled as electrical waste.
It’s important to avoid disposing of WEEE waste and batteries in the general waste or household/mixed recycling bin due to fire risk and contamination risk if they leak.
Hic hic hooray
Plan on toasting the end of 2022 with some Christmas spirits?
Good news – glass bottles and jars can be recycled indefinitely.
Keep empty glass containers aside and take them to the nearest bottle bank, household recycling centre, or out them in your glass recycling bin at home if available. Cheers to that!
Don’t be a party pooper
With party season in full swing until the bells of the New Year ring in, we’ll all have seen more of those tissue paper party hats from crackers, crepe paper streamers and stringy paper stuff from party poppers than we will for the rest of the year.
These items are usually too thin to be recycled but if you have a home compost bin, you can stick them in there.
This will keep them out of landfill and put them to good use instead.
If you don’t have a home compost bin, you can check with your local council to see if you can include these items in with your recycling.
That’s a wrap
Wrapping paper comes in all colours and textures, so how can you be sure what can and can’t be recycled?
If you can scrunch it and it stays in a ball, you can recycle it.
Firstly, remove any ribbons, sticky tape or gift tags before throwing it in the recycling bin. And don’t forget about wrapping paper tubes as they can also be recycled.
This year let’s gift the planet less waste by recycling as much as we can – and keep that momentum going in future years too.