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Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,843
Registered: ‎20-02-2015

Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

I read yesterday that the refuse departments are unable to recycle Christmas Cards and wrapping paper this year. The amount of recycling has dropped this Christmas for the first time since 2000, because of this.

 

The glitter or metallic strips on Christmas cards can apparently cause problems for the machinery in the recycling centres. Also wrapping paper cannot be recycled because of the risk of sticky tape still being on it, this can contaminate recycling paper.

 

For these reasons all Christmas Paper and cards, which apparently mounts to millions of tonnes, are being added to the landfill sites.

 

So anyone who has sorted their wrapping paper and /or cards and placed them in the recycle bin, now need to put them in your ordinary waste bins.

 

So I have a few tips for recycling Christmas Cards that may help. Things I have helped with or made myself over the years.

 

1. You can use Christmas cards to make gift tags. I have done this for years. Sometimes there is a certain part of the card that has a scene or something prominent and I cut around them with scissors. Otherwise you can make cards by using pinking scissors, I think that's their name, they give a sort of pretty jagged edge to the label. Otherwise you can just cut out circles and make them look like baubles, they don't have to be fancy.

You can then attach some string to them, I buy multi coloured strings for other purposes so I use that because I think it looks better but you can use any string.

Store the tags in a large envelope and label the envelope ready for next year so you don't mislay them.

 

2. You can make book marks with Christmas Cards, its quite straight forward and they can be made for yourself, as gifts or keep them for donating to charity Fayre's.

All you need to make a simple bookmark is some wool, your cards and some scissors. You can cut a scene from the front of a card or you can cut out a design from the front of a cards. If the card is flimsy attach it with some glue to a piece of coloured cardboard, you can always stick another design on the back of the cardboard so it has too Christmassy sides.

When you have finished just add some wool to the bookmark shape by threading it through the card at one end.

 

3. Children like to make collages with anything, so why not Christmas cards?. It gives children something to do when the weather is bad and they can't get into too much trouble, as long as they have safety scissors and some glue. Just let them stick bits of the cards to a larger piece of card. You could even let them make pictures ready to hang for next year.

 

4. Christmas cards can be cut up to make bunting ready for next year. Again you will need scissors and string. You can make Christmas tree shapes, Bauble shapes, Christmas hat shapes etc. Children will love to join in too. You could even add some glitter on the less ornate cards and the light really catches it when it is hung around the room. 

When my children made bunting we found it kept for years, the children loved their contribution to decorating the house for Christmas.

 

5. Use your cards for 'Thank you' notes. If the front of your card has a lovely scenery and the words on the front can be cut away why not write on the other side. You can send the card to people who have sent presents or you can get the children to write their thank you's on the cards. If not and the scenery is suitable, something like children playing or a winter scene, you can use the front of the card as a postcard. 

 

6. Everyone likes to receive good post for a change so why not just drop them a postcard made by recycling your Christmas cards.

You can write a short note to someone to let them know you are thinking of them.  Just draw a line almost down the centre of the blank side of the card. Write the address of the person on the right hand side of the blank side of the card and your note on the left hand side. 

 

7. You can make place card to put on the table next Christmas. You could just laminate the cards so they can be wiped down if something gets spilt on them or you can use pinking scissors and cut out coasters for drinks. You could attach the picture you have cut out to some cardboard, to make them firmer, and more heat proof. Then laminate the coaster ready to stand your glass of wine on next year. If you have any cards with pictures like dogs, or scenery, you could use them before Christmas for the same purpose. 

 

8. You can make a picture to either hang in your own home at Christmas or as a gift for someone, or to give to Charity for sales/fairs etc. If you have some cards that have beautiful scenery, or a cute picture etc, put it in a picture frame. You may need to buy a smaller frame so you can remove words on the cards but if it just says Merry Christmas etc. why not leave the words so it helps your home look more Christmassy. I have picked up a few frames in the pound shop to make a few things for the Christmas fetes at my local school and Salvation Army hall next year.

 

9. You can make baubles with them for the family. Cut the cards into bauble shapes and stick it to a piece of cardboard, On the other side of the card add a photo of a family member or a photo you would like to keep on display at Christmas. You can laminate the bauble if you have the chance as this helps it to keep better. Attach some string or ribbon to the bauble and it can be hung on the Christmas tree or used as a decoration. you could attach several to a piece of string and hang them around the window..

 

10. You can make Christmas stockings out of long socks and cards. In the past I have picked up a cheap pair of long socks and added pieces of Christmas cards to the socks to make stockings. I cut out shapes from the cards and attached them to the socks with glue or if the card is quite thick I stitched the shape around the socks, I even put a bit of ribbon on the top and attached a photo to the ribbon and hung it over the fireplace so each person knew which stocking belonged to them. It great fun doing it with the children. My children made comments about whether Father Christmas would like it or whether Rudolph would like a stocking like it next year Smiley Happy

 

11. You could use some Christmas cards and make recipes cards. You write on the reverse of the front of the card or you can write a recipe and attach it to the card by stapling a piece of ribbon to the corner of the card. You can keep the recipe cards for yourself, you can store them all together and you will find them easily because of the Christmas cards next year. The other idea is you could make something like Christmas biscuits, wrap them as a gift and add the recipe card to the gift for someone.

 

That's about all I can think of except if you are not feeling creative you can donate your cards for Charity. I know some stores collect them.

M&S are recycling Christmas cards for the Woodland Trust, for every 1000 cards donated one tree gets planted.

 

Some other stores like Boots, Sainsburys and Argos have recycled Christmas cards for various charities in the past, so its worth checking.

If your luck isn't what it could be put a 'P' before it .

Super Lidler Class of 2016
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,039
Registered: ‎09-02-2015

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

I saw a sad thing yesterday - someone taking a tree, in the back of their car, to the dump. Christmas is only halfway through!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,843
Registered: ‎20-02-2015

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

That's awful @User1, what a waste of a tree too.

Someone must have paid for that tree, fancy getting rid of it so soon Smiley Sad Smiley Sad
If your luck isn't what it could be put a 'P' before it .

Super Lidler Class of 2016
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,833
Registered: ‎23-02-2015

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

Always like natural products, BUT, in the case of Christmas trees, think that artificial is actually better for the environment. They can last a lifetime.

 

A natural tree can be planted in the garden with some tiny LED lights passed around the branches, powered from a solar battery.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,174
Registered: ‎08-03-2016

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

[ Edited ]

I have a plastic one and hate the d amn thing.  Something to get help with to store it in the garage roof.  Annoying trying to put the lights on - and now take them off!  Can't get rid of it, because even though it's years old, is still in fine fettle. 

 

I found some chopped up pine thrown away on a bridle path near here.....some people think that other people's land is a refuse tip!

 

LED lights are on all night, though @Tanith and are a great annoyance to neighbours, I'm afraid.  My neighbourhood has had to ask someone nearby to turn theirs off, as they light up rooms at night, even though they seem innocuous and cute.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,305
Registered: ‎21-03-2016

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

How do you know it was being taken to the dump @User1 -maybe it had just been 'nicked'!! Anyway, if it was on it's way out, at least that's better than fly tipping as reported by @Duchess We get that a bit round here, being pretty 'rural'!  You obviously feel about your tree like swmbo does abou me  - 'Can't get rid of it, because even though it's years old, is still in fine fettle'Smiley Very Happy

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 2,174
Registered: ‎11-03-2016

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

We use christmas cards in nursery for cutting out experience and reinforcing. Card is better for younger children to cut. The more advanced cutters make them in to jigsaws!

Regular Contributor
Posts: 705
Registered: ‎09-11-2016

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

You may remember that I only wrap up presents in plain brown paper. This means it all goes in to the compost bin to make vegetables and plants. Most wrapping papers have unsuitable ink, plastic or glitter, all of which can not be recycled and end up as pollution and landfill.

 

 

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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,409
Registered: ‎01-04-2016

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

Good stuff here. The metallic wrapping paper is very easy to reuse as it is difficult to rip. This year using ribbon negated the need for sellotape thus making said paper nicer for reuse next year.

didnt send any cards as my house is full of cards received from years past and don't like to contribute to more waste or clutter. We have plenty for crafty activities if necessary.

Rage and Love
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,174
Registered: ‎14-02-2015

Re: Christmas Card and wrapping paper recyling

We took all our wrapping paper out of the  recyclables bin and put it in with the household rubbish after we heard that, thing is that its going to be about 3 weeks between collections and thats so crazy at this time of the year, so in the end Simon took the bags down the tip himself

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