Over 100 million bags of waste go to landfill every Christmas in UK, according to waste management company Biffa.
From this, three and a half black bags full of festive wrappers are thrown away through household – and that means wrapping paper.
Add to that plastic duct tape, glitter embellishments and plastic tape, and the way we wrap gifts is a disaster for the environment.
A recent survey found that more than half of the nation wants a greener Christmas this year as concerns grow about the amount of waste produced.
An easy way to cut down on the amount you throw away, while still being creative, is to make your own eco-friendly gift wrap.
Here is our practical guide to wrapping gifts without polluting the environment:
Find alternatives to wrapping paper
Brown parcel paper is the safest, most recyclable packaging available – and it’s cheap and easy to find.
It also gives that nice nostalgic feel to your gifts. But if you feel like they look a bit simple, you can add acetate ribbon in different colors wrapped around the gift and tied with a bow at the top.
Using magazines and newspapers are also great packaging alternatives and give your gifts a colorful and vintage look.
Search by recycling company The first mile, which eliminates hard-to-recycle waste, found too much packaging topped people’s lists of Christmas scarecrows.
Another solution is therefore to simply reuse the packaging in which your orders arrive. Wrap the box in brown paper if it is covered with logos or address labels. Tissue paper, shredding, and padding can also be salvaged from your online orders, so think about it before throwing it aside.
Alternatively, keep the wrapping from the gifts you received last Christmas in a drawer and collect it for reuse this year.
Some decorative touches
In addition to ribbons, you can brighten up your gifts a bit by printing them with stamps.
But keep in mind that not all paints are environmentally friendly. Water-based paints do not release toxins so this is the best option, or you can experiment with food / vegetable dyes.
Recyclable twine or paper tape are also great for decorating and you can even draw yourself – it’s time to get out those old markers.
Go for paper labels
Paper labels are inexpensive and widely available, so they are better than plastic options, but they are single-use items.
Instead, don’t forget to save the Christmas cards you receive this year and recycle them next year by cutting them into gift tags.
Ditch the duct tape
Make it guilt-free gift wrap with biodegradable plastic-free tape.
It’s relatively easy to get hold of and can even be bought in some supermarkets for around Â£ 2 (â¬ 2.40) a roll. Or if you’re up for a challenge, take a look at some of the nifty ways to wrap gifts without any adhesives.
It’s all about the folding with this Japanese origami technique …
Embellish your gifts with real holly or Christmas tree cuttings
Leave the embellishments until the last minute and go on a festive stroll this Christmas Eve to seek out some fresh organic embellishments.
Holly or Christmas tree cuttings make lovely rustic decorations and are of course 100% biodegradable. Just be careful not to prick yourself on that holly.
Fabrics also work
Make your gift doubly useful by wrapping it in something the recipient can reuse, such as a pretty scarf, tablecloth or tote bag.
You can also reuse scraps to wrap gifts or sew in a gift bag.
Show us your eco-friendly gift wrap and tag us on social media at @euronewsgreen.