This is how easy it is to sort Christmas gift packaging – forget about the labelling

Once Christmas presents have been opened, the floor is covered with wrapping paper and packaging. Sorting them by packaging material is quick. Read our clear instructions.

By Katarina Cygnel-Nuortie

Once you’ve memorised a few easy rules, you can sort your Christmas gift packaging very quickly. Sorting and recycling saves energy and natural resources and reduces the need to use new materials to make products, so you’ll also be giving a Christmas present to the Earth. So let’s separate Christmas gift packaging into different parts and put the parts into the correct collection containers.

Outer packaging and ribbon – mainly goes into mixed waste

Wrapping paper, gift bags, plastic ribbon and plastic rosettes always go into mixed waste. Pack all paper as tightly as possible by folding it into a neat stack, for example.

Wrapping and bags made of brown or white kraft paper and ribbon made of paper go into the carton collection.

Christmas cards can go into the paper collection.

Gifts are sometimes wrapped in pages from a newspaper or magazine. Newspaper is also used as insulation for wrapping Christmas flowers. Put pages used as packaging material into the paper collection.

Christmas flowers and hampers are often packed in cellophane. Cellophane and other plastic wrappings are recycled with plastic packaging.

Tip: Keep gift wrapping that’s in good condition and reuse it. Or would just a rosette or ribbon wrapped around a gift be enough to make it beautiful?

Gift packaging – it’s the material that counts, don’t mind the labelling

Boxes made of plastic are recycled with plastic packaging. If any parts of the packaging are made of cardboard, they can be removed and put separately into the carton collection.

Boxes made of cardboard should be flattened as tightly as possible and put into the carton collection. Plastic parts of packaging, such as the plastic tray in a chocolate box, are separated and recycled with plastic packaging.

Packaging made of metal goes into the metal collection container. Cardboard belly bands are put into the carton collection.

Jars and bottles made of clear or coloured glass are emptied and put into the glass collection container. Metal lids are removed and put into the metal collection container. Please note that only glass jars and bottles that have been used as packaging go into the glass collection container – no other types of glass objects! Cosmetics are often packed in opal glass, which is mixed waste and cannot be recycled with glass packaging.

Tip: Used roasting bags are mixed waste. Did you know that cooking fat from Christmas dishes such as ham, turkey, fish or even root vegetables can be processed into renewable diesel? Recycle cooking fats at Ham Trick collection points.

Sorting instructions in brief

Carton collection:

  • kraft paper
  • flattened cardboard boxes
  • paper bags.

Glass collection:

  • empty, rinsed glass jars
  • empty, non-deposit glass bottles. Take deposit glass bottles back to the shop.

Metal collection:

  • packaging, lids and caps made of metal.

Plastic packaging collection:

  • plastic packaging
  • cellophane

Paper collection:

  • newspapers and magazines used as wrapping
  • christmas cards.

Mixed waste:

  • colourful wrapping paper
  • gift bags
  • plastic ribbon and rosettes
  • opal glass.