In numbers: Why Christmas is the most wasteful time of the year

Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year - but it's certainly the most wasteful. As the big day approaches, edie rounds up some of the most shocking resources and waste statistics of the 2019 festive season.

edie shares some resource and waste statistics which could put the UK on Santa's naughty list - despite actions from businesses, policymakers and consumers alike

edie shares some resource and waste statistics which could put the UK on Santa's naughty list - despite actions from businesses, policymakers and consumers alike

The year is coming to a close, and the feeling that the global sustainability conversation is moving more rapidly than ever before, and will never evolve more slowly again, is palpable. Between nations like the UK and New Zealand setting legally-binding net-zero targets, the climate strikes movement sweeping across the globe, and ‘climate emergency’ declarations being made on a near-daily basis, 2019 has been a year of acceleration.

But as edie readers – and the public as a whole – prepare to wind down and spend some time cosying up with their friends and families (and the odd mince pie or two), the UK’s waste problem won’t be taking any time off.

Despite calls for the giving of time, experience and charity donations instead of things – and the increased popularity of products such as reusable water bottles, glitter-free wrapping paper and recyclable cards – several studies in recent weeks have suggested that the ghost of Christmas past continues to haunt the UK when it comes to waste.

Here, edie rounds up the key challenges which the nation’s Christmas celebrations pose to sustainability progress.

Source: Phs 

Source: Hubbub

Source: RajaPack

Source: RajaPack

Source: Tombola 

Source: Tombola 

Source: Tombola 

Source: Unilever

Source: Warburtons

Source: Hubbub

 Source: Know Your Money 

Source: Know Your Money 


A decade in review: Vote for the defining sustainability moment of the 2010s 

As 2019 comes to a close, edie is encouraging readers to have their say on the most profound moment of the past decade. Is the Blue Planet effect your winner? Or perhaps the Paris Agreement? 

Vote now and let us know. 

And, if you're in the mood for some more festive content, the Christmas special of edie's Sustainable Business Covered podcast is out now, featuring exclusive interviews with CSR & redistribution platform Neighbourly, e-commerce firm Tinggly and business networks Team London Bridge and the UKSSD. Listen for free here. 


Sarah George 



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