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Date published: 1st December 2020

Typically, a household produces thirty percent more waste during the festive period than at any other time, and with more people spending Christmas at home this year, this figure is set to increase. Therefore, people across Norfolk are being asked to do their bit to help reduce waste and increase recycling over the festive period.

Norfolk Recycles have produced a range of hints and tips to help people do exactly this, while at the same time hopefully saving money.

The successful ‘Scrunch It To Sort It’ campaign makes a return with a new look. It aims at making sure only the correct wrapping paper is placed in the recycling bin and keeping out paper that contains glitter, foil and excess sticky tape.

All you need to do is scrunch the wrapping paper in your hand. If it stays scrunched in a ball it is recyclable. However, if it bounces back, it is not, and will need to be placed in the rubbish bin.

Alongside glittery items, those containing foil and lots of sticky tape, the ‘Scrunch It To Sort It’ campaign also asks people to remove ribbons and bows that often decorate gifts before placing paper in the recycling bin. These items can end up spoiling whole loads of recycling when it is sent to the county’s sorting facility.

Cllr Andy Grant, Chairman of the Norfolk Waste Partnership, said “At Christmas recycling is not really at the forefront of people’s minds. However; the Scrunch Test has proven to be a fun and easy way for the whole family to find out if their wrapping paper can be recycled.”

“We are also encouraging people to think more responsibly about the paper they buy, ensuring it is recyclable or to even choose longer life substitutes.”

Cllr Nigel Lloyd, NNDC's portfolio holder for Environmental Services, Climate Change & Environment, added: "A staggering amount of waste is generated each Christmas. When it comes to wrapping paper, you can help the environment by using paper that can be disposed afterwards in your green recycling bin - or better still, unwrap your pressies carefully and use the paper again next year!

"Paper that fails the scrunch test and can't be salvaged for reuse should go into your black general waste bin. Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and a greener New Year."

The team at Norfolk Recycles have come up with a variety of alternative options, waste reduction and recycling tips for people to consider this festive period. They include Christmas items that can be recycled, natural decoration ideas, gifts that everyone wants, reducing food waste and activities for children and the whole family to get involved with.

Visit the Norfolk Recycles website for all the details,, or find them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and follow NNDC @northnorfolkdc across these channels. 

Last updated: 18th January 2021