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From glittery designs, to shiny paper and even sellotape, it’s highly likely the wrapping paper you usually use isn’t recyclable.
It’s often lined with a “plastic membrane” which protects the paper, Dr Karl Williams, head of waste management at the University of Central Lancashire told HuffPost UK. This means it goes straight to landfill.
There are alternatives you can try. We’ve looked online to find some of the best eco-friendly wrapping options for Christmas.
Lush has long been using “knot wraps” to cut down on single-use plastic – using it to wrap bath bombs, body bars and solid shampoo bars. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of furoshiki, it’s a way of putting a colourful piece of fabric – made from recycled plastic, no less – to good use. It can continue to be used for gift wrapping, or even as a headscarf, after presents have been opened. There are helpful guides on how to wrap in different styles online.
Using brown paper for your Christmas wrapping is an easy way to make sure it’s recyclable – but wherever your local recycling services ask you to separate paper and card, make sure the brown paper goes in the card pile. You don’t have to compromise on colour; simply add a bright red, green or gold ribbon, and it’ll make the gift look that much more chic.
Washi tape is a useful item to keep in your home throughout the year, as interior designer Joanna Thornhill previously told HuffPost UK. Come Christmas, it’s perfect for securing wrapping paper without sellotape, which is a plastic adhesive. Washi tape is typically made from hemp and bamboo and the self-adhesive is compostable and recyclable.
If you’re using plain paper that can be recycled, add a bit of Christmas spirit with a fun stamp. These wooden tree designs from Etsy are adorable – and, while you’re there, opt for a vegetable-based ink as it’s more eco-friendly. You can shop individual tree stamps or curate a set of different ones that will last you for years to come.
Christmas Forest By Kate Heiss, Re-Wrapped, From £2.05
If you don’t want the faff of decorating plain paper, choose a roll from Re-Wrapped – it’s made entirely from post-consumer waste with pulp that hasn’t been bleached. And it’s produced and printed in the UK using environmentally-friendly vegetable inks, then delivered in recycled brown envelopes. A no- brainer.
If you’re buying for a wine connoisseur, forget the usual bottle bag and opt for a Wrag Wrap one, made from recycled fabric with a secure handle. It’ll fit standard wine, champagne and spirit bottles. It even comes with a gift tag pouch so you can include a message.
Star Print Lokta Paper, Happy Wrap, From £3.60
We love the variety of colours this star-printed wrapping paper comes in – from royal purple to brilliant blue. It’s handmade from bark of the Lokta shrub found in the Himalayas and coloured using natural dyes. Not only are you reducing your plastic use, you’re also supporting local communities that produce the paper through trade.
Cotton Ribbon, Etsy, from £2
Add a finishing touch to any wrapped gift with a cotton ribbon. There are so many colours to choose from on Etsy. We’ve got our eye on the peacock blue – it’ll go beautifully with a brown wrap.