Christmas Recycling Guide: What Can and Can’t Be Recycled

Christmas is just around the corner, and we all know what that means – festive lights, jolly decorations, and heaps of wrapping paper. This holiday season, why not make a conscious effort to reduce your carbon footprint and recycle as much waste as possible? In this blog post, we’ll explore what can and can’t be recycled during the festive season, and offer some tips on how to make your Christmas a little greener.

Check out our handy guide. 

1. Christmas Recycling Guide – What can be recycled:

Firstly, let’s talk about what items can be recycled. Most Christmas cards, wrapping paper and gift tags can be put into your household recycling bin – just be sure to remove any tape or decorations. Tinsel, however, cannot be recycled due to its metallic content, so reuse it where possible, or dispose of it in your general waste bin. Most decorations made from paper, card or wood can also be recycled, but plastic ones cannot. If you’re unsure about an item’s recyclability, check with your local council.

2. What can’t be recycled:

While we’ve already touched on some items that cannot be recycled (such as tinsel and plastic decorations), there are a few more worth noting. Foil wrapping paper, for example, cannot be recycled due to its metallic content. Neither can glittery or laminated wrapping paper. Disposable plastic cups and cutlery should also be avoided, as they aren’t usually recyclable.

Electronic waste such as toys, batteries, toys containing batteries and electronics should be recycled at a WEE Ireland recycling drop off.

Finally, while Christmas trees can be recycled, they must be cut into smaller pieces and taken to a designated recycling point – so don’t put them in your household recycling bin!

3. Tips for reducing waste:

Now that we know what can and can’t be recycled, here are a few tips for reducing waste during the Christmas season. Firstly, consider using recyclable wrapping paper, or even better, reuse old wrapping paper or gift bags. Secondly, instead of buying disposable plastic cups and cutlery, invest in some reusable alternatives that you can use year after year.

Finally, consider buying a real Christmas tree instead of a plastic one – real trees can be composted, and they’re much better for the environment.

4. Donations and reusing:

Another way of reducing waste during Christmas is to give donations to your loved ones or to those who don’t have enough. You can also try reusing some items for your future use or as part of your mend-and-make do project. You may find old boxes, ribbons, and other decorative items that you can use again this season or in the coming years.

5. Food waste

All your food waste over Christmas can go into the brown bin. This will help the environment and save you money on your general waste bill.


In conclusion, Christmas is a time of joy and wonder, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about the environment. By following this simple guide, you can ensure that your Christmas is a little greener. So let’s make this festive season a sustainable one!