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huffingtonpost - 1 month ago

There s Probably Plastic In Your Christmas Wrapping Paper – Here Are Some Alternatives

Christmas present wrapping: one of those tasks that starts off enjoyable and swiftly becomes annoying as you realise the dent in your to-be-wrapped pile isn t getting any smaller.Whether you choose fancy patterns or a glittery design this year, there s a chance your wrapping paper could contain plastic, which means it can t be recycled and could stick around on the planet for a long time.Wrapping paper is often lined with a plastic membrane which has a role to play in protecting the paper, Dr Karl Williams, head of the centre for waste management at the University of Central Lancashire tells HuffPost UK. It s to make the paper stronger and more resistant to tearing, he says. Your paper doesn t have to be as thick because it s got a plastic membrane on it. This plastic-covered paper - which you can usually spot as it ll be shiny or smooth to touch - is great for wrapping as it helps us get those lovely creases along the paper and neat edges.But whereas traditional, plain wrapping paper could biodegrade on its own, the same isn t true of plastic-lined paper. It also can t be recycled as it s made from more than one material, which makes it difficult to treat. The same can be said for paper covered in glitter. Glitter is often made of plastic because it s a durable and reflective substance that is relatively easy to colour.For an eco-friendly Christmas this year, here are some options to consider:If you re going to stick with traditional wrapping paper, opt for uncoated papers made from recycled materials. Try Recycle Now s wrapping paper test if it scrunches, it can be recycled . For a retro look, try brown wrapping paper (as long as it s not plastic-lined) or even old-fashioned newspaper tied with string. You can jazz it up by decorating the paper with reusable ink stamps.There is also a recent trend (called Furoshiki ) for using reusable fabric a traditional Japanese style of wrapping presents, which includes tying a beautiful piece of cloth around a gift. They are widely available online.Related... It Turns Out Your Paper Receipts Can t Be Recycled – Here s Why How The World Went Mad For Plastic And Why It s In Everything We Buy The Ugly Side Of Beauty: Why The Industry Needs To Tackle Its Plastics Problem

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