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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 24 November 2020
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Your Christmas dinner is in the bin (well, the leftovers)

We’re second in the EU28 for recycling – but here’s how we could do a hell of a lot better.

IT’S HARDLY A shocking statistic that many of us overeat on Christmas Day – 40% told a Repak recycling survey that they will eat double their normal dinner portions tomorrow.

We could do with a bit of inspiration around leftovers though – over 50% of respondents to the same survey said they dump the food waste in the bin.

What would happen if we recycled or reused everything that we consumed over Christmas, not just food? Repak totted up the numbers:

Over Christmas, we will use…

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

In general, according to Repak, we use 25% more packaging at Christmas than at other times of the year.

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They have some tips to eliminating the waste, and saving the guilt for how many Roses you get through in one sitting instead…

  • Wash and squash - wash glass and plastic containers, and squash plastic ones to make more room in your recycling bin;
  • Fold rather than scrunch wrapping paper for the same reason;
  • Crush/fold all boxes - and don’t let cardboard/paper get wet;
  • Check that you don’t miss your recycling/green/brown bin collection days;
  • Recycling banks for bottles get very busy this time of year – don’t forget that glass is hardy enough to be stored outside; maybe save yourself a wasted trip and hold on to them until mid-January when the banks will be clearer;
  • If you have lots of recycling, look up your local recycling centre and note that you should bring these items packed separately to save time when you get there: cardboard/paper, plastic bottles, other plastics, aluminium, steel, glass. (You can recycle Christmas crackers, did you know that?)

Since 1997, recycling has diverted 7.7 million tonnes of used packaging from landfill – we are now ranked second in the EU28 countries for recycling packaging.

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