Christmas 2020: A ‘thank you’ is the best gift you can give
There’s no denying that this year has been challenging. Every single one of us has had a lot to adapt to, and as 2020 draws to a close we’re all looking to Christmas as a time to rest, relax, and celebrate however we can.
There are many things we ‘give’ at Christmas. Gifts are an obvious one, but there’s something even more important we want to give this year, and that’s a ‘thank you’ to our collection crews.
Our key workers
During Recycle Week this year, we led the nation in thanking our collection crews up and down the country, who are up at the crack of dawn in all weather to get the job done. The festive season is another chance to say ‘thank you’. Even in the darkest, coldest mornings, collection crews are out emptying bins and helping us all recycle more at home.
So, this year, why not thank your collection crew with a kind word, a wave from the window, or a hand-written sign on the bin to wish them a Merry Christmas? In the first UK-wide lockdown, these heartfelt notes of thanks were seen on bins all over the country, and Christmas is a perfect time to bring them out again.
We know that protecting the environment matters to people at home. This year, we found that over three in five households in the UK are recycling more than before; being a responsible recycler is more important to people than ever.
While you’re taking time to appreciate the people around you, remember to be kind to our planet, too. Throughout 2020 many of us have reconnected with nature in ways we haven’t before, so the best way to ‘thank’ the natural world is to reduce the impact you have on it. Recycling as much as possible is just as vital at Christmas as it is the rest of the year, and this is the best time to perfect your wash-and-squash technique, too!
Most of us will have our bins collected at slightly different times over the festive season, so space can be at a premium in our recycling bins! Flatten all your cardboard before it goes in the bin, and squash any cartons or plastic bottles so they take up less room. This has the added benefit of saving space in the collection trucks – if they fill up less quickly, they can make fewer trips to and from the depots, ultimately reducing emissions!
Remember, the impacts of climate change don’t take a break for Christmas. So, take a moment to check exactly what can or can’t go in your recycling bin.
Here are the major things to look out for:
- Glitter and tinsel can’t be recycled. So, if you’ve got a sparkly card, Christmas cracker, or wrapping paper (for example), cut off any glittery bits before the rest goes in the recycling bin. Hang onto tinsel for next year, and if it’s looking a bit worse for wear why not keep it to package any delicate gifts? It’s a fun and festive way to prevent it going to waste!
- Some councils will accept ‘real’ Christmas trees as part of garden waste collections in the new year. So, check on your local authority’s website to see you can recycle your Christmas tree with them when the festive season is over. Just remember to check for any hidden decorations first – you’ll need these for next year!
- Christmas lights count as electrical items. Check the Recycling Locator to see how to recycle them in your area.
- Some wrapping paper is not recyclable. The best way to check is the classic Scrunch Test! Scrunch the paper up into a ball – if it springs back, it can’t be recycled, but if it stays in a ball then it can.
- Sellotape can’t go in the recycling bin, so take any bits off your wrapping paper. String and ribbon are great reusable alternatives!