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Be more eco friendly this Christmas

Our Ryedale Reporters in Year 7 have been investigating the different ways we can all aim to have a more eco-friendly Christmas this year…

Ribbons
You would not think that ribbons would strike fear into those who work in a recycling area but they do! Ribbons, whilst looking pretty, are endangering your future; the fact is ribbons are 2D which means that as the different objects travel through organisers, the ribbons will slip past. This means they will be disposed of and will therefore result in litter.

Furthermore, ribbons can just be tossed away resulting in an even higher likelihood of them being discarded.

Fortunately, we realise this and are making our ribbons more eco-friendly. Unfortunately, companies like Amazon are trying to profit from this by selling eco-friendly ribbons for a higher price than non-eco-friendly materials.

This year, think: Are your Christmas presents looking pretty, more important than turtles?

Glitter
Look what we are doing to the environment – even glitter is bad! Scientists are saying it’s dangerous for the environment. Most glitters are tiny bits of shiny plastic, called microplastics. … Microplastics can pollute the environment, leak chemicals into the water and pose harm to life if consumed.

Experts say glitter is far from harmless: it may be polluting the environment, harming our eyes, skin and causing problems around the world. Glitter is made from tiny pieces of plastic – making it as bad for the environment as the toxic microbeads that have been banned from cosmetics. Microbeads are added as an exfoliating agent to cosmetics and personal care products, such as soap, facial scrubs and toothpastes. They may be added to over the counter drugs to make them easier to swallow.

When washed down the drain, glitter becomes a subset of marine plastic litter known as microplastic. Microplastics, which measure less than five millimetres in length, are found throughout the world’s oceans, from the surface to the deep sea floor.

Plain Christmas cards – yes! Not those with glitter. Many cards can be recycled in the main part of the recycling bin but any card which has glitter, glue, is over-printed in foil or has a 3D image cannot be recycled. These will contaminate the waste stream and must be disposed of through your household bin.

Before recycling, remove any sticky tape and decorations such as ribbons and bows as these cannot be recycled. Wrapping paper can only be recycled if it passes the scrunch test – simple paper wrap can be recycled but foil or glitter decorated paper cannot and needs to go in the general waste.

Christmas jumpers

95% of Christmas jumpers are made of plastic. A charity analysed some Christmas jumpers and lots of them were made of acrylic! Acrylic is a type of plastic and plastic is still affecting our planet, killing the animals with devastating outcomes. Making Christmas jumpers uses fossil fuels and chemicals which is causing climate change and destroying the earth as we know it. You could help another generation by buying plastic free Christmas jumpers such as woollen Christmas jumpers, but the real question is:

WILL YOU HELP US???

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