United Nations Environment suggests using eco-friendly gift wrapping this festive season, rather than shiny non-recyclable gift wrap. Picture: Pixabay
United Nations Environment suggests using eco-friendly gift wrapping this festive season, rather than shiny non-recyclable gift wrap. Picture: Pixabay

WATCH: How to have an eco-friendly Christmas

By Arthi Gopi Time of article published Dec 20, 2018

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Durban - Avoid shiny or glittery paper, don't feel compelled to buy new Christmas decor and recycle. This is the advice from United Nations Environment, as millions around the world prepare to celebrate Christmas.

Stats show that in Britain alone, around 177 million straws and 122 million plastic cups will be used this Christmas with around 200 million sheets of wrapping paper dumped after the festivities.

The international agency released a quirky video, through its "Clean Seas" project, which aims to raise awareness about plastic pollution and its effect on marine life. Centred on a Christmas theme, the video follows a lady named Sandra, and her bad "relationship" with plastic.

United Nations 

The agency provided the following tips to encourage a break from plastic this festive season:

1 Avoid shiny or glittery wrapping paper: This often cannot be recycled. Make your own wrapping paper by decorating plain brown recyclable paper with festive non-plastic decor. Sellotape and glittery gift tags make wrapping paper almost impossible to recycle so find alternatives. If you must use glitter, seek out biodegradable sparkle.

2 Don’t use plastic cups and cutlery at parties

3 Avoid unnecessary plastic packaging when shopping: Buy loose vegetables and fruit and bring your own containers to the deli counter.  

4 Reuse old decorations or make your own: String pine cones, popcorn, cranberries or other natural items onto a garland. Or make simple paper decorations.

5 Gift "sustainable living" presents: Ideas include reusable coffee cups or water bottles.

6 Recycle: Check the packaging symbols before you bin your waste.

7 Get plogging: For that traditional post-dinner family walk, why not head to the beach or your local park for "plogging" (jogging mixed with picking up litter).

The Independent on Saturday

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