The Christmas season has arrived, and you know what that means! It’s time to break out the good cheer, spend time with our loved ones, and create monumental amounts of waste… Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year for all of us. But it’s also one of the most wasteful periods when the volume of waste materials produced and disposed of increases.
Holidays are the times to celebrate with family and friends and that can involve a lot of wastefulness. We frequently celebrate during the holiday period by dining out and going to parties. We can spend too much on presents for friends and family, and often send Christmas cards to everyone we know. The high street charms us with ‘Christmas offers’, encouraging us to buy shiny new giftware, home decorations, and festive treats all wrapped up in expensive-looking packaging. Much of this, unfortunately, is sent to landfill where it harms the environment. With the Christmas season being full of tradition and celebrations, it’s no surprise that it leads to a massive amount of waste being produced every time it comes.
Christmas has been referred to as ‘the world’s greatest annual environmental disaster’, with all of us creating an enormous impact in terms of pollution and waste we generate. It’s estimated that some families spend 60% more of their incomes and generate 30% more household waste over the holiday season. Woah! Trash cans full of holiday food waste, ribbons and bows, packaging, shopping bags, and wrapping paper contribute an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.
As consumers, we are increasingly concerned with the environmental impact and the sustainability our actions have, with Christmas proving to be no different. It is estimated that 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging are generated at Christmas time, with plastic packaging for toys and advent calendar trays being the worst felons. It might be surprising to hear how much waste is produced at Christmas each year. Every year, we threw away an average of 228,000 miles of wrapping paper, almost enough for us to paper our way to the moon!
While the Christmas season brings good cheer for most people, it also brings a lot more solid and plastic waste to the landfill, damages to the environment, and additional debt to the average family. It is much more important to practice proper solid waste management in the holiday season.
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