Why the scrunch test is your friend this Christmas - wrapping paper inspiration this festive season

For many it is the most magical time of the year, but Christmas brings with it a significant amount of waste.

However, with COP 26 being held in Glasgow and more people aware of the importance of protecting the environment, there has been a growth in demand for how to have a sustainable Christmas.

Jenny Fraser from Zero Waste Scotland told The Scotsman that with COP26 being held in Glasgow “more people are taking an awareness of the climate emergency.”

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The Zero Waste Scotland spokesperson gave insight into a useful tip on checking whether or not your paper can be recycled by carrying out the scrunch test.

Tips on how to recycle over Christmas

The test is relatively simple and can give an indication of whether or not wrapping paper can be recycled.

If you can scrunch up some wrapping and it stays scrunched you can recycle it - if it does not stay scrunched up then it cannot be recycled. If your wrapping paper has glitter on it, then it is unable to be recycle d as glitter itself is a micro-plastic.

Jenny Fraser also suggested a host of other alternative wrapping paper inspirations such as using things you already know are recyclable, like some foliage, or wrapping gifts within gifts, such as a book wrapped in a scarf.

She also suggested another alternative would be to buy brown wrapping paper and decorate it, or get your children to decorate it to add a little more personality to the gift as a whole.

While you may have stocked up on supplies and discount wrapping paper last year, the paper you have may not be fit for the recycling bin - but this test could inform you right away.

Fraser added that one of the key aspects of having an environmentally friendly Christmas is to get to know exactly what you can and cannot put in your recycling bins.

“You probably have a bit more waste in your house, whether it be wrapping paper, sweetie tins or more. One of the best things you can do is make sure you know what is on the naughty and nice list for your recycling bin. What we suggest people do is really get to know your recycling bins and make sure that any item that can be recycled is rather than going to landfill.”

Fraser also added that “The environment is playing on everyone’s mind now and that COP 26 had really brought it forward. We are certainly noticing a lot more activity on our Waste Less site with folk wanting extra information, and I think that is something we are seeing throughout the year, not just at Christmas.”

While there has been a growth in demands for information around sustainability at Christmas, Fraser also urged people to consider taking on a green new year’s resolution. She said: “When thinking about consumption, avoid single use whenever possible. When you are out buying a coffee, take your own reusable cup with you, avoid plastic water bottles and plastic plates. There are lots of simple things that people could do.

“If it hasn’t been raised to you before, if you are not really aware of it then you're not going to make those positive changes, so the more we talk about it, the more action I believe can come from it.”