Recycling centre’s Christmas gift idea for the environment

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JERSEY’S new recycling manager has urged Islanders to use the festive season as a starting point for cutting the amount of waste they produce in 2022.

Piers Tharme, who took up the role last month, said there were a range of straightforward ideas which would help all households reduce their impact on the environment.

While recycling remains an important focus, Mr Tharme also hopes that Islanders will consider ways of reducing what they buy and reusing items they might previously have thrown away.

‘All recycling, with the exception of green waste, has to be sent off-Island, so the aim is to get people to think about what they are doing – don’t just throw it away,’ he said.

Although he conceded that a lot of Christmas shopping had already taken place, Mr Tharme said there were good options for presents that involved experiences, whether they were tickets to events, spa treatments or restaurant vouchers, rather than physical presents.

Making your own presents, joining forces to buy one special gift rather than multiple items, and looking for second-hand presents in charity shops were other options put forward.

Throwing away large amounts of food was often an undesirable consequence of the festive season, Mr Tharme added.

He recommended planning meals in advance, rather than just buying huge amounts of food, and being creative with leftovers or items from the freezer.

Although there is a lot more to think about than wrapping paper, the recycling team is hoping that Islanders will consider whether they can find alternatives, for example wrapping children’s presents in old comics.

Once it comes to recycling wrapping paper, it needs to be just paper, without other materials such as foil, plastic film, sticky tape or glitter.

Paper that fails the ‘scrunch test’ – springing back open after it has been scrunched up – cannot be recycled.

‘We hope that this will lead to people thinking about the whole issue of waste outside of Christmas, so that only waste that needs to be thrown away is left in recycling, or black bags,’ said Mr Tharme. ‘Recycling and the energy-from-waste plant are the last elements of the hierarchy.’

A range of activities and educational activities are planned for 2022 in order to cut waste levels and contribute to efforts to reduce the Island’s carbon footprint.

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