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Recycle Your Christmas Cards Responsibly

The greeting card industry in the UK is huge and when you compare the British to other cultures around the globe, it is clear that no other country has adopted the sending and receiving of cards as part of their culture with the same sort of enthusiasm!

Christmas time is no different and figures estimate the annual number of cards received per head in the UK to be 17. With a population of 64 million residing in the UK, that is a seriously large quantity of Christmas cards!


Those looking for greener alternatives this Christmas may have opted to send personalised e-cards to their friends, family and customers this year rather than a paper version, or perhaps let their usual card recipients know that they have opted not to send cards this year, having chosen to donate the money they have saved to a charity organisation instead.

Another greener choice for those who prefer to send cards is to purchase cards that are produced with 100% recycled paper.


Once the 12 days of Christmas have ended it is important to recycle your paper cards responsibly, there are several ways to do this:

  • Recycle your used cards to make gift tags, bookmarks or new cards – If you enjoy being creative or have children who enjoy creating their own masterpieces, this can put your old cards to great use. Be sure to recycle any off cuts etc with your usual paper recycling.
  • Donate your old cards to a local School, playgroup or art club, for creative use – Bag them up and send them into be turned into all sorts of wonderful creations.
  • Recycle your cards with your usual kerbside cardboard recycling or at a local recycling bank – Not terribly exciting this one but at least they’re going to be turned into something useful, perhaps even another card!
  • Give your cards to a Christmas card recycling scheme – In partnership with The Woodland Trust, M&S are running a fantastic scheme in store this year, for the fourth year in a row, enabling people to place their unwanted cards into collection boxes in store.

Under this excellent scheme, which has proven itself a great success in previous years, for every 1,000 cards donated in store, The Woodland Trust will plant a new tree in the UK.

In January 2014, an incredible 8.1 million Christmas cards were collected in stores across the UK, which meant that subsequently 8,135 new trees were planted by the trust.

You will be hard pressed to find a better way to recycle your cards this January and if you decide that you want to participate in this great scheme, the collection boxes will be available between January 2nd and January 31st 2015 in all M&S stores.

The new trees that are planted next year will add to the 34,000 trees that have already been planted because of the scheme, providing yet more protected habitat for a variety of wildlife.


Think about the future, make it a green choice and make sure you do not send your Christmas cards off to landfill with your black bag waste!

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