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Understanding Recycling This Christmas

  • by Leanne Conroy

As we all know, celebrating Christmas leads to a lot of rubbish! Wrapping paper, toy boxes, Christmas crackers, and even a whole lot of food waste. The expectation of the clean up is as much a part of Christmas as chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t make good choices in how you deal with your waste. So to help out we’ve created this handy little guide to correctly and safely getting rid of your rubbish this Christmas.

First of all, you know those little arrowy-looking symbols that are on all packaging these days. They’re there to tell you what you can and can’t recycle. There can be a few different looking ones so an important first step in knowing what to do with your rubbish is understanding these guys

Once you know all of these, that's half the battle!

Another important distinction to know is the difference between the Repak symbol and the universally recyclable symbol...

⬆️ This means that suppliers and producers have contributed financially to the recycling of packaging in Europe. For example, Repak Members can use this symbol on their packaging as they pay fees to Repak to fund recycling in Ireland. The symbol does not necessarily mean that the packaging is recyclable, has been recycled or will be recycled.

This symbol ⬇️

Indicates that a product’s packaging can be recycled, not that is has been recycled or that it is accepted in all recycling collection systems. The symbol may be accompanied by a percentage figure in the middle to explain that x% of the packaging is recycled.

Next up, you need to know about all the bulky bits, or stuff you can’t just lob into your household waste. Think batteries, that mixer you’ve had for ages that went up in a haze of smoke just when you were whipping the cream for the trifle, the empty bottles from the vino, or your Christmas tree when January hits and it’s time to pack it all up for another year.

Any electronics that have given up or batteries that have run out shouldn’t be thrown in with your usual waste and instead should be dropped off to a WEEE centre. 

As you can see they’re pretty much everywhere! You’ll find a full interactive map on the service you need by clicking here

Next up those bottles; glass bottles and jars can be reused in the home (Great for if you’re going to a loose grain store for your flour, rice, oats etc) or they can be recycled at an appropriate bottle bank. And you guessed it, those guys are all over the place too!

You’ll find the closest bottle banks to you by clicking herepopping in your location in the search bar, and ticking the bring bank box.

Alas, for your Christmas tree drop off I don't have a handy map for you, however, local City and County Councils nearly always have drop off sites for your trees so they can be chipped down and disposed of responsibly. Just Google your nearest Christmas Tree drop off location and you're away with it. Unfortunately, the clean up of your car afterwards is a bit of a nightmare...sorry about that!

 

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