12 Tips To Reducing Waste This Christmas

Recycling tips to reduce the Christmas waste mountain

A campaign aimed at promoting good recycling practices and cutting down on the mountains of waste sent to landfill over the Christmas period has been launched.
Waste-ManagementThe Southern Region Waste Management Office has published a list of items that often end up contaminating recycling bins having been mistakenly identified as recyclable. Among the items are foil containers or crisp bags, crisp tubes, jars, nappies, plastic film and soiled packaging.

“Recyclables get rejected if the recycling companies spot contamination that can spoil the quality of the recycled materials and the sorting machinery,” explained Pauline McDonogh, Regional Waste Prevention Co-ordinator, Southern Waste Region.

“This waste can be very expensive to dispose of while it also leads to more waste than is required being set to landfill,” she added.

Outlining some tips for recycling, Ms. McDonogh stated, “Plastics with recycling codes 1, 2 and 5 are fully recyclable and should always be put in the recycling bin. These codes are located at the base of all plastic containers. Householders should make sure bottles are empty by discarding all liquids. Packaging that contained food such as yogurt, margarine and soup should be rinsed, while all plastic bottles and cardboard should be squashed or flattened before being placed in a recycling bin. This also creates more space in the bin.”

The Southern Region Waste Management Office also has a number of pre-Christmas tips which include buying presents that do not require excessive packaging, wrapping presents with recycled paper, sending festive e-cards to cut down on packaging, supporting local and fair trade producers, recycling shopping bags and composting food waste. Householders are also being urged to recycle all packaging, and take empty bottles and tins to one of the many bring banks located throughout the Region. A full list of recycling centres & bring banks can be found on

12 Tips to Reduce Your Waste This Christmas:

[1.] Buy experiences rather than gifts!
[2.] Cook your Present! – invite friends over for dinner as a present and prepare a special meal of their favourite foods.
[3.] More Gift Ideas – other great gift ideas include hand-made Christmas tree decorations, native trees vouchers, solar powered radios and torches, energy saving light bulbs, aid for development work overseas, or a home composter.
[4.] Offset extra miles – give a tree or garden plant as a gift to help offset the extra miles travelled at Christmas.
[5.] Buy a battery charger – avoid gifts which require batteries, or purchase a battery recharger and rechargeable batteries.
[6.] E-Cards – Why not send a festive e-card instead of a paper one, or make your own from paper and textile scraps you find around the house.
[7.] Alternative wrapping – Try alternative wrappings like newspaper, old material and string or ribbon that can be reused. Or consider gift bags as they can be reused over and over.
[8.] Shopping Bags – Bring your own reusable bags when shopping. Say no to plastic bags.
[9.] Make a List! – Make a shopping list so you’re not tempted to buy things you don’t really need or want.
[10.] Low food air miles – Shop for locally produced food or fair trade labels. Challenge yourself to make dinner entirely from locally produced produce.
[11.] Food for Thought – At least 30% of all the food we buy is thrown out! Visit for inspiring ideas on how to shop smarter for food over the festive period as well as recipes for what to do with leftovers. 12. Recycle – remember to use your dry recyclable collection provided by your waste collector. You can also use your local bottle bank and/or Recycling Centre.
[12.] Buying Presents – buy locally produced gifts, you’re supporting local jobs and helping the environment by reducing air miles. Treat someone to an “experience present” such as theatre or concert tickets, evening classes, restaurant vouchers, etc. to cut down on Christmas packaging.

The Christmas waste prevention message is the latest initiative of the Southern Waste Regional Office, under its ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’. Among the other initiatives hosted during 2015 is the ‘Say No To Junk Mail’ campaign, upcycling workshops and the successful reusable bottle promotion.

The ‘Do One More Thing Campaign’ forms part of the Southern Region Waste Management Plan Under the Waste Management Plan, 10 local authorities in Cork, Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Tipperary and Kerry have been set a number of key targets in relation to waste prevention activities. Visit for more.


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