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There’s a lot of things to celebrate over the festive period but the scale of our extravagance is not one of them. Christmas has long been hijacked by consumerism, but as well as harming our wallets, the plastic waste we create at this time of year is doing monumental damage to our planet. Discarded plastic is clogging our landfills, nature reserves and oceans; it’s even in the air we breathe and the water we drink (no really, scientists estimate we consume a credit card’s worth of microplastic each year!). 22 million kilograms of plastic stream into our oceans every day. That shiny wrapping paper might look nice under the tree, but it’s an environmental nightmare when washed up on our beaches. However, there are plenty of things you can do to make the most of the festive season without costing the earth. Here’s how:

    Most wrapping paper is coated in plastic and can’t be recycled. Opt instead for the brown paper – it’s chic in a pared-back way and looks wonderful with reusable ribbon and fabric cut-offs.

    Watch out for the plastic-based glitter on cards too or go one step further and try a paperless post method with e-cards.

    If you already have boxes of plastic tinsel waiting for their annual debut, don’t throw them out – reuse, reuse, reuse! But if you’re buying new this year, consider making decorations from dried orange slices and cinnamon sticks.


    Buy less and buy local is the general rule of thumb and avoid shopping online where you can to cut down on packaging.

    Consider making something from scratch. Foodie gifts such as jams, chutneys or cookies work especially well, and you can present them in beautiful glass jars. Visit your local The Source Bulk Foods for all your recipe ingredients and jars. Or get your thrift on and upcycle an old piece of furniture for a really special gift.

    Choose an experience rather than more stuff. Gift tokens for a restaurant, cinema tickets or a museum membership would go a long way to boost the down-trodden hospitality and entertainment industries and create much less waste.


    During the festive period the UK generates over 270,000 tonnes of food waste, which is a colossal amount of waste. With some careful planning and creative use of leftovers, there’s no need to add to the mountain of food waste.

    If you’re entertaining this year, send everyone home with beeswax-wrapped leftovers and anything that is half-eaten can be composted with an easy at-home kit (which would make a wonderful gift!).

    Plan your menu, check your supplies and shop like a ninja at one of our stores. Food packaging can be tricky, but by choosing to shop at The Source Bulk Foods you’ll cut those pesky soft plastics.

If you have any ideas for other blog topics that you would like to see please don’t hesitate to let us know on [email protected] or via the Contact Us form on this site.