Why a wrapping paper question gave me hope this Christmas

Have you wrapped your presents yet? Have you got enough drinks in?

These are the sort of questions I associate with Christmas in my household with manic preparations usually getting underway around this time of year.

But this year there was a different question. One that has never been asked before, and perhaps in my ignorance I had never given much thought to.

This year my partner asked me what we should do about wrapping paper.

Why a simple question about wrapping paper gave me hope for the future.


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I must admit it is something I try not to think about at the best of times so my response of “just whatever we normally do” was probably not the answer my partner was looking for. However, she soon started to explain to me the difference between types of wrapping paper and the impact that different types could have on the planet.

What started off as a response to an innocuous question in-between picking my Fantasy Premier League team soon led to a long discussion about what type of paper we should have and why it was vital to think about the most environmentally friendly way to plan Christmas.

I was soon informed why the gift wrapping we had in the house from last year was non-recyclable and that Christmas wrapping paper generally cannot be recycled as it is often laminated with plastic, foil or other non-paper materials.

Anything with glitter on it, including cards and the wrapping paper that stays in your carpet for 6 weeks cannot be recycled.


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While some of this was not news to me, the conversation was.

I will be the first to admit that I have not always been the most environmentally conscious, and in the past have probably just picked up whatever wrapping paper would save me a few pence. But the question made me think about how many people may also be having the conversation for the first time or planning their Christmas thinking about the environment first.

With monumental decisions needed to try and turn the tide in the fight against climate, changing what wrapping paper you use at Christmas will not make or break the planet, but the conversation breaking its way into the public psyche just might...