Top tips for a Christmas without all the plastic

Christmas will be here before we know it, with some people way ahead of the game when it comes to organising parties and shopping for gifts.
  Published:  12 Sep 2018    |      2 minute read

Rosie Cotgreave, a plastics campaigner at Friends of the Earth said:

“Unfortunately, Christmas fun can often come made of, or wrapped in, single use plastic. Don’t worry though, as by making a few changes this Christmas you can make the most of the festive season while stemming the (yule) tide of plastic pollution.”

Rosie’s top tips for a plastic-free Christmas:

  1. Decorations good enough to eat. Resist the temptation to deck the halls with flimsy tinsel or baubles. Why not bake some Christmas cookies to hang from the tree, or use strings of popcorn and cranberries as tinsel? You can also invest in high quality decorations that will last for years to come, rather than ones you’ll need to replace each year. This will also save you huge amounts of money in the long run.
  2. Christmas greens. Instead of buying pre-prepared or multipack vegetables wrapped in plastic, go for loose vegetables from your local greengrocer – a great way to also support local farmers. Struggling to find the time to get out to the shops? You can also support organic farmers by using an Abel & Cole veg box for the big festive feast. Unlike a lot of the big supermarkets they’ve never used plastic bags in their deliveries.
  3. Season’s e-greetings. We all love a Christmas card, but why must so many come wrapped in plastic? Try to shop for ones not choking in plastic, or send Friends of the Earth e-cards to really cut down on waste.
  4. The gift of no plastic. Many children’s toys are made of plastic. Try opting for more traditional ones made of wood, and make sure to pass these to other families or donate to charity shops when your little ones have grown out of them. When shopping for bigger kids and adults you can cut resource use by giving experience-based gifts rather than material ones – perhaps a meal at their favourite restaurant, or tickets to the theatre.
  5. Plastic pollution is crackers. Pulling the crackers is a really fun part of Christmas, but who really needs a little plastic jumping frog or slinky? Grab a DIY cracker kit and ditch the plastic tat.
  6. Wrapping things up. Lots of Christmas wrapping paper contains plastic. Ditch the plastic wrap by using brown parcel paper with traditional festival decorations, or these child-friendly versions. You can use also try using fabric offcuts, or ribbons to make unique wrapping paper. If you’re short of time, look for 100% recycled wrap online at

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