A GROUP that is pushing for single-use plastic waste to be cut down in the Portsmouth region fears that a lot of hard work will be undone over the festive period.
The Final Straw Solent project is being run in association with The News, with the goal of stamping out plastic waste in Portsmouth and beyond.
But as Christmas draws ever closer, co-founder Bianca Carr says that more plastic will be thrown away than any other time in the year.
She said: ‘From getting rid of old toys and decorations to using the wrong wrapping paper, the build-up and aftermath of Christmas has the potential to be really damaging to the environment.
‘But it doesn’t have to be this way – in fact, it is really easy to have a Christmas that is environmentally friendly, without taking all the fun out of it.’
According to Bianca, the first step is to consider what you’re purchasing for Christmas – and where you’re buying it from.
She explained: ‘While joke presents are always good for a laugh, the reality is that someone will use it once or twice and then just throw it away.
‘Smart shopping is the key – get things that you know people will both appreciate and keep hold of for a really long time.
‘The other thing is to try not to do shopping online. Places like Amazon will wrap things up in plastic, even when they don’t need to.
‘By heading out to the shops you not only prevent this plastic waste, but cut down on your carbon footprint and support our high streets at the same time. Everyone wins.’
But the hidden evil for plastic waste at Christmas is actually the wrapping paper – as many of it cannot be recycled.
Bianca has a couple of ideas to not only keep wrapping environmentally friendly, but give Christmas gifts a more personal touch.
She explained: ‘A lot of wrapping paper can’t actually be recycled – the shiny stuff and ones with glitter on aren’t biodegradable at all.
‘But the alternatives to this are just amazing; you could box things up, or use brown paper and add a bow to it. You could even get the kids to design their own wrapping paper. It’s just a nice personal touch.’