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Christmas Gift Waste - What about all of the unused gifts?
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A gift for the environment:
If you ever find yourself looking at the typical “UK Top 10” lists, or better yet, news articles related to gift waste, you tend to find the attack is on plastic. In fact, you may stumble across advent calendar waste, wrapping paper waste, and one of the largest categories, food waste. But there is one Christmas transaction that may produce a lot more waste than at first glance. If you haven’t guessed it yet, then consider all those unused items that are sitting somewhere at home.
Last year the UK was reported as having 30% more waste around Christmas (Biffa). Therefore, it is obvious that the “waste” problem has a wide reach. To start with, we stumbled across the shocking number that declared “277,000 miles” of wrapping paper ended up as waste over Christmas (Evening Standard). And, if you want to, you can find many more humbling statistics. But, here at GiftDrop we want to highlight another result of consumerism, which is when we purchase unused gifts for our family and friends. Whilst no one sets out to buy items that never get used, Christmas in the UK will likely witness c.£1bn unused items related to buying/receiving gifting. At best they may end up sitting in the cupboard, or worst yet, in the rubbish bin.
So, what is the solution? Well, I’m pleased to say that UK brands are beginning to take note. The sceptic in us may question certain “initiatives”, but if it helps the environment, I sense we can get on board. One of the leading gift experience websites, Buyagift, is attempting to partner with “sustainability” influencers and has committed to its 2019 Sustainable Christmas Market. Moreover, you don’t have to dig too deep to find a host of leading UK journalists put pressure on high street and ecommerce waste. And finally, right at the higher end of retail, John Lewis has claimed they will commit to replacing throwaway plastics in their luxury Christmas crackers.
The evidence above is intentionally light. In other words, we support all initiatives around the UK that have a small or large impact. But we suggest that the problem needs quicker fixes that act with haste. Therefore, GiftDrop asks that you think twice about all the gifts that act as your “default presents” (i.e. people you don’t know what to buy for), items bought in unnecessary bulk, and the gifts you’re unsure about. Our goal is to ensure that you do NOT buy gifts that end up unused. Alternatively, feel free to take a look at the GiftDrop platform (www.giftdrop.co.uk) that was set up to provide a dual purpose showing you tailored items based on your preferences and focusing on limiting gift waste.
We hope that you read this post and notice our attempt to provide a sense of realism to waste reduction. We understand that buying “green” and eco-friendly gifting will take time to become more mainstream. And, with all the best intentions in the world, they sometimes cost considerably more. Therefore, if you take one thing from this post, we ask that you share it with your friends to acknowledge that unused gifting can become a problem. In short, we encourage that all those plastic toys, etc, are bought with the purpose of being used. We will offer our own suggestions based on your personalised criteria, but in general it’s important we limit our waste.
Thanks for reading,
Elliot & Daniel
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