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That's a wrap

Published: 26 Dec 2015 00:01

Don’t leave a paper trail this Boxing Day.

Scotland's Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead is urging people to think about the tonnes of wrapping paper that will be thrown away this Christmas, and make sure they recycle it properly.

Traditionally Boxing Day means piles of ripped up, unwanted wrapping paper, bags and boxes in our homes, but the Cabinet Secretary is urging Scots to re-use and recycle so they can to do their bit for the environment during the festive period.

He said:

"I'm sure that over the course of the season, scores of wrapping paper will be used and thrown away – which is not only bad for the environment, it's also not great for your wallet. By re-using wrapping paper – like your granny used to – you'll save on some cash next year that can be used to buy additional presents, or perhaps a wee gift for yourself. Even if you can't salvage the paper that's been used to wrap presents, don't throw away the left overs: keep them and store them away to use again next year. Bags and boxes can also be easily reused.

"And if you can't re-use, recycle – let's not see our general waste bins overflowing with wrapping paper. By recycling our gift wrappings as much as we can, it shows that in Scotland we're continuing to move away from the wasteful 'throwaway society' model of using things just once. The Scottish Government is determined to help Scots to recycle as much as possible. So whether it's making the most of your home collection, local re-use services or nearby recycling facilities, I'd encourage everyone to play their part this Christmas and find a new home for their packaging."

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland said:

"Christmas can sometimes feel like the season of excess, and we've all woken up with a turkey hangover and a big pile of wrapping paper and boxes on Boxing Day. Instead of sending all of that packing off to landfill, get a kick start on your planning for 2016 and see what you can put aside for re-use, or recycle."

Zero Waste Scotland has come up with some handy tips to avoid a paper pile-up this Boxing Day.


  • Gift bags, boxes and good quality wrapping paper are easy to re-use – unwrap carefully (if you can contain yourself), remove tape and tags, and keep them to give to different friends or family next year. No one will ever know!
  • Why not save torn wrapping paper, tags, bows etc. for rainy-day arts projects with the wee ones.
  • If you and your friends and families haven't made a switch to e-cards, you can re-use your Christmas cards as gift tags for next year, by cutting around the outlines of the designs on the front of the cards.


  • Put wrapping paper into your paper recycling bin.
  • Alternatively visit to find your nearest recycling centre.
  • When recycling paper, remember to remove all tape, tags, bows and ribbons.
  • Paper that is laminated or contains glitter or metallic effects is less likely to be accepted for recycling.
  • Recycle envelopes and cards that can't be re-used as gift tags.