No hope for festive waste

January 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Millions of emaciated Christmas trees, a flock of rotten turkeys, and up to a billion Christmas cards are wending their way gradually towards landfill sites this January, as recycling campaigns all over the country come unstuck.

Planting a tree in your living room is perhaps one of the most unusual things a person can do and yet every year, Britons spend thousands of pounds on foliage and plump fir trees to lend a bit of festive cheer to their houses.

Unfortunately, by the time the New Year arrives in a haze of smoke and good cheer, the old tree has outstayed its welcome, and spends the days rotting by the roadside.

The volume of waste produced on Christmas Day alone hit record-breaking levels last December, and local councils – who have spent much of the past year trying to educate their communities about the ills of landfill sites – are now afraid that their carefully laid plans have been scuppered by thoughtless residents.

Wrap, the Waste and Resources Action Programme, has blamed toy manufacturers for the exponential rise in festive waste. Inadequate disposal instructions are a bane to environmental groups and few major toy companies have had the foresight to offer useful advice on their packaging.

Recycle Now campaigners have found that a large quantity of Brits are unable to identify readily recyclable materials, and these individuals also struggle to dispose of their waste in a sustainable manner.

Waste watchdogs have urged British families to think carefully before dumping recyclable materials in with the common trash. Wood and paper-based products such as cards, wrapping paper, and trees should be placed in your green bin or box, or transported manually to a recycling centre.

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