Ho ho ho-me recycling tips this Christmas

08 December 2023 5 min read

The festive season is just around the corner and Sefton Council is urging residents to consider their impact on the environment this Christmas.

The Council has lots of handy tips on how to avoid being wasteful over the festive period.

Wrapping paper and cards

The shops are filled with wrapping paper of all colours and designs. Most wrapping paper can be recycled after it’s used, but any foil paper, or paper that uses glitter can’t. If anyone is unsure, try scrunching the paper up – if it doesn’t spring back into shape, it’s likely to be recyclable. Remember, wrapping paper doesn’t have to be bought specially. You could use old magazines or newspapers that feel personal to the recipient.

With many people feeling the pinch this year, e-cards can be a cheap alternative to regular Christmas cards and create no waste. Most cards can be recycled, but cards that use glitter must be placed in the regular waste. For anyone feeling crafty, why not reuse cards as gift tags next year? Just cut the front of the card off and store them to be used again.

Festive food

Plan ahead and only buy the food and drink that you will need for the festive period. Make sure to keep an eye on any ‘use by’ dates and remember that the shops aren’t closed for long. Look out for recipes that use leftover Christmas food to save money and cut down on waste.


For anyone doing a clear out to make room for this year’s presents, consider donating old toys and gifts to a charity shop. A lot of presents come in cardboard packaging, which can be put in the regular recycling, but make sure to remove any other materials to save it from being contaminated. Plastic windows, staples and sticky tape will all prevent the cardboard from being recycled.

Christmas tree

After the big day, real Christmas trees can be recycled at any Recycling centre in the Borough. Often, using a real tree is more environmentally friendly, unless you plan to reuse a synthetic tree for years to come.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services said: “Christmas is a busy time of the year, and many of us go shopping for extra treats and gifts that we wouldn’t usually buy.

“Sefton has embraced recycling as a normal part of our routine, but we can always be more mindful when it comes to sorting our waste.

“Small actions such as making sure all recycling materials are clean and dry, and being aware of cross contamination can make a huge impact to our environment. Even reusing things within our own homes can make a big difference.”

Recycling centres across Sefton are open from 8am to 5pm every day this winter except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Regular waste and recycling collection days may vary over the festive period. Check the Sefton Council website for all changes.

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