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With all the extra food we consume to the mountain of packaging from Christmas gift purchases, it’s a prime opportunity to make sure we’re recycling everything we possibly can at home rather than throw these items away.
Wales Recycles has brought the 12 Days of Christmas to life by showcasing 12 common festive items that can all be recycled, from chocolate tubs and foil mince pie cases to turkey trimmings and vegetable peelings from Christmas dinner.
By keeping up the good work we can help Wales on its mighty mission to get to number one in the world for recycling.
1. Recycle your teabags
69% people in Wales recycle their tea bags. Recycling just two tea bags by putting them in your food waste caddy can create enough electricity to fully charge a smartphone.
2. Show plastic bottles who’s boss
Over 85% of us recycle our plastic bottles such as drinks bottles, cleaning products and toiletry bottles. Empty, crush and replace the lids before recycling. Remove any pump dispensers and trigger sprays first as these can’t be recycled. Recycling just one shampoo bottle saves enough energy to power a home stereo for five hours.
3. Conquer your cardboard packaging
We consume more cardboard over Christmas than any other time of year. 86% of people in Wales recycle their cardboard. Remember to remove any packaging tape and flatten boxes to save space in your recycling container.
4. Spray another day
Recycle aerosol cans from your bedroom and bathroom, such as hairspray, deodorant and shaving gel. 73% of us recycle our empty aerosols. Recycling just one aerosol can save enough energy to power a home stereo for 32 hours. That’s a lot of Christmas tunes! Ensure they’re empty and remove plastic caps.
5. Foil mince pie cases
Metal can be recycled again and again without losing quality, including mince pie cases and foil used in cooking that is clean, 70% of us in Wales recycle our foil. Scrunch foil items before recycling them. Remove any food parts from foil before recycling. Empty and rinse foil containers.
6. Think food first at Christmas
You can recycle turkey bones, veg peelings, and any leftovers from your Christmas dinner (that can’t be safely eaten later), as well as other food waste including tea bags and coffee grounds, eggshells, peelings and cores from fruit, and stale bread. Make sure it goes in your food waste caddy for recycling and not in the bin. 80% of us recycle our food waste in Wales and one caddy full of food waste can produce enough energy to power a TV for two hours.
7. Keep crushing cans this Christmas
Whether you’ll be sipping on an alcoholic beverage or refreshing soft drink this Christmas, don’t forget to recycle your cans. Recycling one can saves enough energy to power a vacuum cleaner for an hour.
8. Keeping giving with glass
Glass is easy to recycle – and it can be recycled into new products again and again. Give empty wine, beer and soft drink glass bottles a rinse and pop the lid or cap back on before putting into your recycling. Empty jars of pickles, chutneys and condiments can be recycled too.
9. Recycle your plastic chocolate tubs
It takes 75% less energy to make a bottle from recycled plastic than using raw materials. Most plastic can be recycled, including the big tubs of chocolates and sweets we have around the house at Christmas. If you sort your recyclable items into separate containers, place this into your container for your ‘plastics and cans’. Remove any wrappers first.
10. Christmas trees
'Real' Christmas trees are 100% recyclable. Check with your local council to see if they'll collect them with your garden waste or if you can take them to your local recycling centre. Plastic Christmas trees, with or without embedded lights, should be placed with rigid plastics at your local recycling centre.
11. Advent calendar packaging
Once you’ve opened the final door of your advent calendar and you’re ready to get rid of the packaging, separate the cardboard from the inner tray. The outer cardboard packaging can be flattened and recycled, while the inner tray cannot be recycled so put in your general rubbish bin for your non-recyclable waste.
12. Christmas cards and envelopes
Christmas cards can be recycled but remove any ribbons, bows, glitter or foil before putting into your recycling. If your paper and card is recycled separately, place cards in your cardboard container and place envelopes in your paper container.