Christmas tree
December - a month for parties, visiting family and friends, eating half your body weight in chocolate and wrapping lots of presents.

Glittery cards and wrapping paper are a popular choice at this time of the year, but sadly, everything that glitters is not recyclable! This means that every year, thousands of tonnes of paper and card end up being thrown away during the festive season.

So this Christmas, ditch the glitter and metallic paper and card and instead do something to #SpreadtheSparkle, such as:

  • Volunteer at a local charity, maybe a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, or donate to a charity of your choice;

  • Visit distant relatives or have that long overdue catch-up with old friends;
  • Make your own wrapping paper, Christmas cards or decorations. You can find loads of great ideas and how-to videos online. Pinterest and Youtube are always great places to start.

You might ask, "is this really such a big deal?" The following stats might surprise you:

  • This Christmas, Londoners are set to consume around 38,000 tonnes of paper and card;

  • In London, over Christmas, the amount of paper and card we use would wrap Big Ben more than 34,000 times, the Gherkin over 30,000 times and the London Eye over 6,500 times!
  • A large proportion of the paper and card used at Christmas is metallic or covered in glitter. Glitter can't be processed in recycling plants as it clogs up the equipment and stops everything working. This means that thousands of tonnes of paper and card are sent to landfill, or incinerated instead - a huge waste and really bad news for the environment.

Here are some ways you can #SpreadtheSparkle!

Wrap your presents in a gorgeous (and giftable) piece of cloth. Furoshiki is a Japanese traditional way of wrapping presents.

Wrap your presents using recycled or recyclable wrapping paper. Here is a beautiful set we've seen on Pinterest:
Recycled wrapping paper from Not on the high Street

Watch Recycle Now's guide to choosing wrapping paper 

If you've wrapped your presents sustainably this year, or are spreading the sparkle in a different way, let us know on Twitter @Recycle_London using #SpreadtheSparkle