Nov 20, 2019

Cut The Wrap (and the cr@p) this Christmas

Words by First Mile

It's that time of the year and, once again, First Mile is urging the nation to ‘Cut The Wrap and the cr@p’ this festive season!

We launched Cut The Wrap last year to encourage greener Christmas wrapping choices, in a bid to combat the whopping 227,000 miles of wrapping paper that is thrown away every year - enough to wrap around the Earth’s equator nine times.

But this year we're taking Cut The Wrap one step further, encouraging the good people of Great Britain to also ‘cut the cr@p'. Being on the frontline, First Mile witnesses first hand the amount of waste our nation generates, and just how much this escalates over the festive period, so we want to encourage Britain to aim for a Zero Waste Christmas. It's time to wave goodbye to those novelty gifts and all that unnecessary glittery wrapping paper and start giving and wrapping sustainably!

Our new poll* found that over half the nation is keen to make Christmas a green one this year, with 71% of Brits who celebrate Christmas admitting they worry about the additional waste it creates. And rightly so... our research revealed that on average respondents use 3.5 rolls of wrapping paper, with nearly a third using five or more rolls – a significant amount of potential wrap to cut!

Many people are unaware that Christmas wrapping paper often can’t be recycled as it is regularly plastic-based, dyed, laminated and decorated with non recyclable embellishments, such as glitter. Our Cut The Wrap mission is to spread awareness and inspire everyone to get creative when it comes to wrapping, choosing eco-friendly alternatives such as newspapers and magazines, recycled brown paper and cloth. Need some inspiration? Our wonderful photographer and stylist have it all wrapped up... Be sure to share your festive eco-creations with us using #CutTheWrap

So now we've covered Cut The Wrap, let's chat cutting the cr@p... It seems that just over half of festive gifts people receive are things they actually want or need, with a good bunch of us, 41% in fact, admitting to re-gifting our unwanted pressies to others. And here's some even more shocking news... over a fifth of us admit to throwing away a Christmas present that we didn’t want or like without even opening or using the gift. Safe to say, it's time us Brits started re-thinking our gifting ways this Christmas.

We also discovered that the nation's biggest Christmas waste annoyances are too much packaging (22%), too much plastic (16%) and wasted food (15%). And rather unsurprisingly, nearly half of those surveyed (44%) say that they feel that manufacturers and retailers don't do enough to minimise the environmental impact of Christmas.

So how does the nation plan to cut down on festive waste? Here are the top 8 ways...

1. Make more of an effort to recycle

2. Reduce food waste

3. Don't buy crackers with plastic toys

4. Go plastic-free or significantly cut down

5. Reduce energy consumption

6. Stop sending physical Christmas cards

7. Stop using traditional wrapping paper

8. Buy items that can be reused each year

With increasing recycling being number one on people's Christmas list, First Mile is here to help! Our easy and low-cost courier service, RecycleBox is the simple solution to creating a Zero Waste Christmas. Simply fill a RecycleBox (or use your own box) and send us your especially tricky to recycle items this Christmas, such as champagne, prosecco and wine corks, Christmas fairy lights and coffee pods. With prices from £10, it's a no-brainer to save your waste from landfill and turn it into something new.

Looking to 2020, a quarter of us say that we're going to try our best to be more sustainable in the new year, so cutting the wrap and the cr@p, whilst resolving to recycle more is a great place to start.

Bruce Bratley, our founder and CEO, said “It’s great that there are lots of good intentions surrounding festive waste, but it’s important that these intentions are translated into positive action to cut both the wrap, and the cr@p, this Christmas. Although people are clearly concerned about Christmas waste, we, as consumers, need to stop buying items that aren’t wanted or needed and that can ultimately damage our planet, such as throwaway novelty gifts."

The UK produces a colossal amount of waste every Christmas, and I think it’s an incredibly sad statistic – both for the environment and for good-intentioned gifters - that over a fifth of people have thrown away a Christmas present without even opening or using it, and that only 10% of people want or need all of their presents."

It’s easy to apportion blame to manufacturers and retailers, but we must remember that it’s also us as consumers whose buying choices are responsible for our nation’s festive footprint. Being more gift aware this year will ultimately set the precedent of what appears on Christmas shelves next year.

Once again we invite you to get involved with Cut The Wrap to reduce waste this Christmas. Spread the word amongst friends, family, colleagues and customers. And don't forget to share your #CutTheWrap photos and tag us. Together we can make this a Zero Waste Christmas to date!

Happy Wrapping!


* The survey was carried out by One Poll on behalf of First Mile, surveying 2000 adults across the UK that celebrate Christmas about a variety of festive consumption and waste issues.

By First Mile

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