An estimated 1.7 million Christmas cards (the equivalent of 200,000 trees) are sent in Britain and 364,000 km of wrapping paper used each year over the festive period. Following the Christmas break, 250 tonnes of old trees are simply thrown out rather than recycled, turned into wood chips or composted.
It is pleasing though that we have seen yet another increase in recycling rates this year. Ten years ago we were recycling just over 7% of waste in our region, we are now recycling nearly 37%. The previous Government worked really hard with local authorities to encourage and improve recycling facilities, but there is still much more to do.
Many local councils and major retailers provide facilities to help people recycle used cards or Christmas trees. The Woodland Trust has also teamed up with businesses to help shoppers recycle their cards in special bins at stores throughout January.
For more information about where you can recycle, check with Rotherham Borough Council, visit www.recyclenow.com or The Woodland Trust website at www.moretreesmoregood.org.uk/cards.