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A sticky issue

Should Sellotape be banned to avoid a landfill disaster after Christmas?
Should Sellotabe be bannned?

It’s something many of us won’t think twice about when we’re wrapping Christmas presents – but is there a more sinister consequence to using Sellotape, and should it be banned for the good of the environment? delved into this sticky subject as Christmas – and with it, the enormous increase in purchases of sticky tape – approaches.

6m rolls of tape

The waste management service found that, alongside wrapping paper and plastic bows, Sellotape was one of the most-purchased items during December, with six million rolls sold in the UK in the run-up to Christmas.

It’s the aftermath of the Christmas wrapping bonanza that concerns

Sellotape, or sticky tape, is non-recyclable – generally made of a type of plastic called polypropylene, which many people may mistakenly believe can go in their recycling bin.

wrapping paper in landfill

Many types of wrapping paper are also non-recyclable – meaning that Christmas day can create an enormous amount of waste that heads directly to landfill.

Even the more eco-conscious, who opt for recyclable paper, may see their efforts thwarted. Paper with sticky tape on it causes problems further down the line at recycling centres – meaning that, with an average of 1.1 billion presents bought each Christmas, the implications for landfill sites are enormous.

‘While it’s easy to get lost in the twinkling lights and excitement of Christmas, we have a very real responsibility to consider the impact millions of rolls of non-recyclable plastic have on the environment every year’, said Mark Hall, communications director at ‘With over a billion presents being given each year, consumers must act to reduce the unnecessary landfill totals each December.’

‘When it comes to this time of year, people are often caught up in the consumerism and the desire to buy (and wrap) huge numbers of gifts for their families – but we should remember that gifts that contribute to damaging the environment are hardly in the Christmas spirit! Turning to recyclable or biodegradable wrapping methods will leave you with the warm glow of knowing you’ve done something good for the environment, as well as from your favourite Christmas tipple.’

Communications director at

Eco alternatives

It’s not all doom and gloom for December’s environmental impact, though. There are plenty of alternatives to this sticky problem – and the rise in eco-friendly entrepreneurs has brought a number of biodegradable tapes to the market.

Of course, you could also go back to the more traditional string or ribbon methods – string, particularly, has had a renaissance in recent years for its rustic look, and it’s cheaper than plastic tape.

The ultimate thrifty – and environmentally conscious – gift givers could consider giving gifts that don’t require any wrapping at all, such as concert tickets, charity donations or experience days.

Click here to read our 12 picks for an ethical Christmas, from gift wrap to what you serve for lunch.

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