Be a MIGHTY RECYCLER this Christmas – Recycling Facts and Tips

Wales is the world’s third best recycling nation, but we need to get to number one. Even though 94% of us recycle regularly, half of us don’t put recyclable items in our recycling.

During the festive season we create more waste than any other time of year. With the extra food we consume to the mountain of packaging from Christmas gifts, it’s a prime opportunity to recycle everything we can at home and here are some facts and tips:

1. ‘Tis the season to recycle your tea bags

There’s nothing more comforting than a cuppa on a cold winter’s day. Tea bags can be recycled in your food caddy. More of a coffee person? Well, the same goes for any leftover/out of date coffee granules too.

2. Show plastic bottles who’s boss

Put single-use plastic bottles in their place this Christmas! 90% of us recycle our plastic drinks bottles, detergent bottles and toiletry bottles. Empty, rinse and squash them before recycling. Leave on any lids, labels, pouring spouts and spray triggers, these are removed in the recycling process.

3. Glass

Making glass items from recycled materials uses around 95% less energy compared to using virgin or new materials. All glass bottles and jars can be recycled, whatever shape or size. Just give them a quick rinse and put the lid or cap back on before you put them out in your kerbside collection for recycling.

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

Most plastic can be recycled, including the tubs of chocolate and sweets we have around the house at Christmas! Currently, 90% of us in Wales recycle them once we’ve enjoyed our treats. Join the majority of people in Wales that say they recycle to “protect the environment” and recycle your plastic tubs!

5. Have yourself a cleaner, greener Christmas

Recycle your empty hand soap bottles when you’ve finished washing your hands after cleaning up your Christmas party. Leave on any lids, labels, pouring spouts and spray triggers, these will be removed in the recycling process. 90% of people in Wales recycle their empty hand soap bottles, just rinse, squash and recycle!

6. Keep crushing cans this Christmas

Whether you’ll be sipping on an alcoholic beverage or refreshing soft drink this Christmas, be one of the 92% of us in Wales who recycle our cans. Recycling one can saves enough energy to power a vacuum cleaner for an hour.

7. Master your foil mince pie cases

Metal can be recycled again and again without losing quality. Most of us in Wales recycle our foil. You can recycle empty mince pie foil cases and any foil used in your Christmas cooking (if it’s clean, unstained and free from food, grease and oil). Scrunching foil before recycling helps them through the recycling sorting process without getting lost.

8. Conquer your cardboard packaging

We consume more cardboard over Christmas than any other time of year with 92% of people in Wales recycling their cardboard. Remove any packaging tape and flatten boxes or cut them into smaller pieces to save space in your recycling container. And keep your cardboard dry if you can!

9. Eat, recycle, be merry

We generate a lot more food waste at Christmas, so make sure it all goes in your kitchen caddy. Recycle turkey bones, fruit and veg peelings, tea bags, eggshells and any leftovers that can’t be safely eaten later.

10. Christmas trees

Please take any unwanted plastic Christmas trees, with or without embedded lights, to your local recycling centre. ‘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. Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper is difficult to recycle but there are some great eco alternatives such as brown paper and cloth wrapping that can be spruced up with festive bows and ribbons, and the great thing is, they can be used again next year!

12. Christmas cards

When it comes to recycling your Christmas cards, please remove any badges, bows, foil, glitter or ribbons first, as they can’t be recycled. Envelopes can all be recycled too. If you have separate recycling containers for your ‘cardboard’ and ‘paper’, place your cards with your ‘cardboard’ and your envelopes with your ‘paper’.

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

Some recycling advice ahead of Christmas

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