This Christmas 112,500 tons of recyclable rubbish will be thrown away, according to new research, by the new think credit card from the Co-operative Bank. This is equivalent to 14,940 red Routemaster buses, 93,360 Minis OR 406 Airbus A380's.
Cardboard, plastic packaging, polystyrene and paper add up to an average of 4.6 kilograms being dumped in the bin per household. And as a nation, we will waste a further 96,447 miles of wrapping paper and 45,494 miles of aluminium foil and cling film, which is the same distance as almost six times round the world, 5,459 marathons or over half way to the moon.
Dan Thompson, Product Manager for the new think credit card from the Co-operative Bank, which commissioned the research, said: "Although at Christmas people are often busy seeing relatives and shopping for last minute gifts, it is often easier than people think to minimize their carbon footprint. Initiatives such as recycling and remembering to switch off the Christmas lights are simple things that everyone can do."
"With all the spending over the festive season, it is also a good time for customers to consider how their shopping choices impact the wider world and by using an ethical card such as 'think' customers can be safe in the knowledge that they are making a positive difference this Christmas."
Although the survey highlighted that a third of people feel recycling the Christmas rubbish is too time consuming, three quarters of people feel bad about the amount of rubbish they will chuck away and seven out of 10 wish they recycled more.
Environment Minister Joan Ruddock said: "Over the last few years we have found that people are recycling more than ever before, which is very good news because it cuts the rubbish that ends up in landfill. However, the Christmas period is a big test of this commitment because so much extra rubbish is created, and a lot of it will be recyclable. It's worth checking whether your council is offering any additional services, like composting Christmas trees and collecting cards and wrapping paper. I would appeal to everyone to consider the environment at this time."
The research highlighted the fact that people in the North East are the most concerned about the amount of packaging they throw away (84%), whereas people in Scotland are the least concerned (77%).
Region % of respondents concerned by the amount of packaging they throw away North East 84% South 82% North West 81% Northern Ireland 81% South West 80% South East 80% East Anglia 79% East Midlands 78% Wales 78% West Midlands 78% Scotland 77%
Some green-conscious Brits are doing their bit, with a quarter of people choosing to unwrap their presents carefully so they can re-use the wrapping paper and a third of people looking to make gift tags out of Christmas cards.
A third of people quizzed admit to having the Christmas lights on 24 hours a day and worrying, six out 10 households would prefer their house to look pretty rather than be environmentally friendly.