The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner, but, as the festive cheer spreads, the environmental crisis is taking a big hit.

Christmas produces an astonishing amount of waste. From food waste to unwanted gifts, there are many aspects of Christmas which impact our planet, and one element in particular that is harmful to our environment concerns the wrapping of presents. 

According to Business Waste, six million rolls of sticky tape are bought in the UK around the festive period, and with used sticky tape taking between 500-1000 years to biodegrade, the impact it has on the environment is detrimental. 

Furthermore, research found that around 222,700 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away each year, with many types being non-recyclable due to their designs. Research by Greenpeace also found that 1kg of wrapping paper is responsible for more than 3kg of CO2 emissions

But don’t panic. In this guide, we will share the best plastic-free alternatives for sticky tape and environmentally friendly wrapping tips to help you enjoy a more sustainable Christmas. 

Hessian Wrapping Paper

Using hessian fabric in replace of wrapping paper not only gives you reusable wrapping material you can use every year, but it requires zero tape.

Hessian is organic and fully biodegradable, creating a rustic look to your gifts, and can be decorated with sustainable accessories, like foliage, to add some festive cheer.

Simply wrap your present like you would with paper, and tie a knot or bow to secure it! You can then reuse the fabric for other gift occasions, too. 

Brown Paper

Many wrapping paper designs you see in the shops are non-recyclable due to the dye used and added decorations, including glitter. 

But, if you still prefer to use paper for your wrapping, why not opt for brown paper instead? 

Unlike most wrapping paper, brown paper is fully recyclable and gives you the opportunity to get a little more creative with your wrapping.

Gather some pine cones and roast slices of oranges to embellish your wrapped gift for the ultimate eco-friendly parcel. 

String and Twine

String and twine are great plastic-free alternatives to tape and can be easily composted or reused.

Natural coloured string is perfect for a rustic look, and you can simply tie a sprig of holly through the bow for a festive finish! 

Paper Tape

Did someone say plastic-free sticky tape? 

Yes, you heard it right. You can now purchase plastic-free, paper tape, which can be composted after it has been used. 

There are a variety of paper tape options on the market, and it is a great way to reduce your plastic-consumption, whilst making sure your presents are securely wrapped.

The No Tape Method

This TikTok trend has gained over 29 million views and it’s an art that is worth learning.

Simply fold the paper around the gift to form an envelope shape. Then, fold over again and tuck in the top flap to finish. Watch gift wrapping expert, Effective Spaces’, tutorial, here to become a no-tape wrapping expert!

If you are planning on having a sustainable Christmas this year, why not continue those lifestyle changes into the new year? To find out more about how you can live more sustainably, check out our top ten tips for living a greener lifestyle and continue your eco-friendly journey all year round. 

December 05, 2022 — Wave Case
Tags: Guide