12 tips for a plastic-free Christmas

By: Kate Wilson
Date posted: 8 December 2017

Start your New Year’s Resolutions this side of the festive season and follow these 12 tips for a plastic-free Christmas!

#1 Mind the festive decorations

Are your decorations looking a bit old and shabby? The winter landscape is dominated with reds and greens, so get out there for some natural decorations rather than buying new ones. Sprigs of holly and fir, twigs and branches, mistletoe and pine cones make beautiful additions to your Christmas home.

#2 Be the eco-warrior at the office party

It’s that time of year when throwaway plates and plastic cups make an appearance for the Christmas do. Proper plates, with real cutlery and glasses will not only make a classier get together, but you’ll dramatically reduce your plastic waste. Make sure you get involved in the planning of your Christmas party!

#3 Give plastic-free gifts

Our online shop has some great ideas for stocking fillers to help reduce single-use plastic – reusable coffee cups, water bottles and beautiful jute and string shopping bags. Or how about giving the gift of MCS membership? Visit our shop. Christmas isn’t complete without some goodies for the bathroom, so make sure your gifts are microbead-free.

#4 Wrap presents in recycled paper

Give your Christmas presents that nostalgic feel with recycled brown parcel paper, and biodegradable eco-packing tape. Add some natural string, some seasonal greenery and last year’s Christmas cards for tags for beautifully wrapped gifts. Shredded paper is a great alternative to polystyrene to protect breakables.

#5 Enjoy Christmas cocktails responsibly

If you’re celebrating with a tipple or two this year, avoid plastic straws and stirrers. Instead, add to the magic with mint leaves, rosemary, cranberries and orange. Freezing your autumn blackberries in ice cube trays makes for a great addition to your winter cocktails.

#6 Go reusable on your big food shop

In the mad rush ahead of Christmas, don’t forget to take your reusable bags on your trip to the supermarket. Get crusty loaves plastic free from the bakers, and take your own air tight containers to meat and fish counters. Get an MCS one at our shop!

#7 Avoid plastic when picking festive nibbles

Ready-made canapés have particularly large amounts of plastic packaging. There are so may quick and easy nibbles you can make plastic free: truffles, mince pies, crudités, cheese twists, potato skins, sausage, sweet potato wedges, sundried tomato, stuffed olives, bruschetta, homemade crisps and many, many more!

#8 Pick plastic-free Christmas dips

Avoid the standard four pack of plastic packed dips this year, and make super quick dips completely plastic free.

Sour cream. Mix soft cheese in foil with mayonnaise from a glass jar. You’ll be amazed how much this tastes like sour cream!

Pizza dip. Mix soft cheese in foil with a couple of spoons of pasta sauce from a jar for a dip of cheesy, tomatoey goodness.

#9 Visit your local deli or market

Take a couple of airtight containers to your local deli for a range of local cheeses – just ask them to pop the cheese straight into your container. Whilst you’re there, look out for some chutney’s in glass jars. Grapes are difficult to find plastic free, but you could try your local grocers.

#10 Have a sustainable boxing day walk

Who needs pre-packed sandwiches for your family walk when you have leftover turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce? Washed down with a flask of hot chocolate, tea or mulled wine there’s no need for any single-use plastic.

#11 Enjoy the January sales with reusable bags

If you’re heading to the sales, don’t forget your tote bags. We’ve got some lovely ones.

#12 Support our campaign to stop single-use plastics

We’re using the great outdoors as a huge dustbin and much of this litter is ending up in the sea and on our beaches. Help us fund our work by supporting our campaign Stop The Plastic Tide. If you can’t help financially, our oceans would appreciate if you could support one of our two ongoing petitions: asking the government and fast food chains to tackle the single use plastic problem.

Have a wonderful plastic-free Christmas from all at the Marine Conservation Society! See you next June for the Plastic Challenge.

Actions you can take

  1. Join the Plastic Challenge
  2. Download our 'Living without single-use Plastic' guide
  3. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2017
  4. Help us stop the plastic tide

Did you know?…

UK Seas provide us with resources from fish to renewable marine energy

We removed 568,000 pieces of litter from our coasts in one year

Litter has increased by 135% since 1994, with plastics increasing by a staggering 180%