Be Mighty recyclers this Christmas

Welsh citizens are ahead of the game when it comes to recycling. We’re the world’s third best recyclers in fact. But we need your help to get to number one.

Over 90% of us recycle regularly, but with half of us still not recycling everything we can, there’s more we can do.

Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “During the festive season we create more waste than any other time of year. 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 are recycling everything we possibly can at home.”

Get the latest COVID-19 vaccination information

Ramp up your recycling efforts this Christmas, protect the planet and help get Wales to number one in the world by following Wales Recycles’ ‘12 days of Christmas’ recycling tips and facts:

1. ‘Tis the season to recycle your tea bags

There’s nothing more comforting than a cuppa on a cold winter’s day. Drink tea, be merry and create electricity this Christmas! Recycling just two tea bags can create enough electricity to fully charge a smartphone.

2. Show plastic bottles who’s boss

From toiletry bottles to drinks bottles, put plastic in its place this Christmas! Over 85% of us recycle our plastic bottles such as drinks bottles, cleaning products and toiletry bottles. Don’t forget to empty, crush and replace the lids before recycling. Remove 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. Also, we will collect clean, flattened cardboard left by recycling containers as long as it is no larger in height or width than a standard issue blue sack.

4. Spray another day

Don’t forget to recycle empty aerosol cans from your bedroom and bathroom – such as hairspray, deodorant and shaving gel. 73% of us recycle our aerosols. Recycling just one aerosol can save enough energy to power a home stereo for 32 hours. That’s a lot of Christmas tunes!

5. Master your foil Mince Pie cases

Metal can be recycled again and again without losing quality. And 70% of us in Wales recycle our foil. Keep up the good work by recycling foil cases from mince pies and any foil used in your Christmas cooking (as long as it’s clean). Also, if you scrunch foil items before recycling them it will help them get through the sorting process without getting lost.

6. Eat, recycle, be merry

We generate a lot more food waste at Christmas so make sure it all goes in your kitchen caddy. You can recycle turkey bones, veg peelings and any leftovers from your Christmas dinner (that can’t be safely eaten later!), as well as tea bags and coffee grounds, eggshells, peelings and cores from fruit, and stale bread. 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, enough to watch Home Alone!

7. Keep recycling 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. Glass

Did you know that making glass items from recycled materials uses around 95% less energy compared to using ‘virgin’ materials? All your glass can be recycled, whatever shape or size; bottles and jars. Just give them a quick rinse and put the lid or cap back on before recycling.

9. Give the planet a gift – recycle your plastic chocolate tubs

Most people in Wales say they recycle to protect the environment. And it takes 75% less energy to make a bottle from recycled plastic than using raw materials. Most plastic can be recycled, including the tubs from those lovely big tubs of chocolate and sweets we have around the house at Christmas!

10. Christmas trees

‘Real’ Christmas trees are 100% recyclable. If you are subscribed to the garden waste collection service you can recycle your real Christmas tree in your green bin, providing it fits in. If it’s too big, you can take it to one of our recycling centres.

11. Advent calendar

If you were lucky enough to get a chocolate advent calendar this year, remember to recycle the outer cardboard. The inner plastic tray can’t be recycled; please place this in your general rubbish bin for your non-recyclable waste.

12. Christmas cards

When it comes to recycling Christmas cards, remove any glittery bits or ribbons first as they can’t be recycled. And don’t forget the envelopes can all be recycled too.

To learn more about Wales Recycles’ Mighty Mission to help get Wales to number one, visit

😷 Get the facts…read the latest NHS Wales Covid-19 vaccination info 👈