Natural corks can be composted but will take a time to break down and might need returning to the bin for a second session when the compost is harvested.
If the card looks as if it contains plastic or laminated materials do a scrunch test. If it does not stay scrunched the card cannot be composted or recycled.
Some cards will have glitter added (see below) this should be sent to landfill but the backs of paper Christmas cards without a coating or glitter can be composted or added to the L.A. bag or box recycling collection. Christmas cards
are also recycled by councils via the paper recycling bin However, if as mentioned above they have foil or glitter on them they should be sent to landfill. The volume of waste wrapping can be reduced by giving presents in bags that can be reused
next year and save on paper and waste. Paper cards can be cut up to make gift tags for next year.
Christmas trees can be composted but it is advisable
to shred them first to increase the surface area exposed to the composting microbes and speed decomposition. If a shredder is not available branches can be cut into small “thumb” size pieces but these will be slow to compost and it
is easier donate the tree to the Local Authority to be shredded into chippings which are then used locally in parks. Local authorities often arrange drop-off points or special collections of 'real' trees in early January. Check your local authority website
for more information. If the council does not offer a system for dealing with Christmas trees they can be cut into small pieces and put in the garden waste bin.
Pine needles can be composted or
turned to leafmold but they will be slow to decompose and any significant quantities are bested treated separately form deciduous leaves.
Unfortunately, artificial trees, most of which are made from the dreaded PVC
plastic, face only one possible destination when their final day arrives: The landfill. If you have an artificial tree, the best thing to do is use it as many seasons as possible, or donate it to someone else who will.
Tags made from card can be cut up and composted having first removed any plastic ties. Plastic or foil tags will not compost.
Electronic items may not immediately come to mind as being Christmas waste but so many people get new electronic items at Christmas gifts large numbers of electrical items are disposed of immediately after the festive
season. Use any upcycling services in your area if not most recycling centres will have a separate are for working electrical items
Ribbons and decorations
Ribbons, bows may be made of natural fibres in which case they can be composted but many will contain foil or plastic and cannot be composted or recycled.
Cardboard, particularly corrugated boxes, are an excellent source of carbon rich “browns” they should be torn or cut into smallish pieces and scrunched up when added to the bin.
Paper napkins and party hats from the crackers can be composted
Paper and card are a good source of “browns” and can help create air pockets to the compost bin. Plastic tape should be removed from the wrapping or envelopes as the
tape does not breakdown during composting. Some paper and cards willcontain plastic or laminated materials these cannot be composted or recycled. Scrunch the item up in your hand. If it stays 'scrunched' it can be composted or recycled.
Christmas wreaths made from plant materials can be composted after the any glue, plastic and wiring are removed. If leaves have been coated with glitter discard
them to landfill . Most council will accept “clean” Christmas wreaths as garden waste..
Wood ash from open fires or wood burners can be composted.
Cocktail sticks although small can be added to the bin. To avoid pets trying to eat them and injuring themselves put the sticks into a container and empty it directly into the kitchen
Holly, ivy and mistletoe can be composted,
Large numbers of Christmas items are decorated with glitter, including from cards, wrapping paper and decorations. Most of the glitter contains microplastic such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) do not compost
or recycle items containing glitter put into a sealed container such as a plastic bag that is being binned anyway the landfill collection system and do not buy any next year.
there is now Biodegradable glitter that
is made from a certified compostable film that adheres to the European (EN13432) and the American (ASTM D6400) standards.
Eco glitter is made of a cellulose film mainly derived from eucalyptus trees from sustainably sourced FSC plantations and is designed
to break-down in the sewage system. The product sold in the USA is certified as home compostable. (https://glitterevolution.com/) . so in future years there is hope for more information:hat environmentally
friendly cards will be available.
Waitrose is to ban glitter from all its own products by Christmas 2020 in response to the mounting concerns about plastic pollution. This covers s own-brand cards, wrap, crackers, tags, flowers and plants. Plastic-free
biodegradable alternatives will be used to create the same sparkle.
If you have made paper chains, you cannot recycle them unless they are just plain white
paper. Paper chains with prints or colours are not ideal for recycling and are probably best off in the compost bin.
Baubles Aren’t Usually Recyclable
are not suitable for the blue bin and will need to be wrapped up and placed in a normal black bin if they break. Plastic baubles, unless labelled recyclable, will not be suitable for the blue bin so you may have to throw broken ones away in the normal black