Nearly half a mile of wrapping paper gets discarded or burned on fire
21st December 2022

Quality Street opens pop up shop to wrap awkwardly-shaped presents

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A green 33 percent reuse their wrapping paper – but in order to get a second chance under the tree, the wrapping must be rip-free and tape-free, and clear of any crinkles or folds.

And only 44 percent regularly consider whether the wrapping paper they are purchasing is recyclable.

It also emerged half of those polled are trying to be more sustainable this Christmas, with 25 percent believing their eco-efforts increase over the festive period.

A spokesman for Quality Street, which commissioned the research after switching its plastic wrappers to paper, said: “Wrapping gifts is such a big part of the run-up to Christmas.

“It helps you get into the festive spirit, and makes you excited to watch your loved ones unwrap their presents on the big day.

“The research revealed the sheer amount of wrapping paper many people use in their lifetime, and that a lot of it can go to waste.”

When asked to consider some of the non-eco-friendly behaviours they are guilty of over Christmas, 31 percent admitted to getting through loads of sticky tape – and a quarter (24 percent) felt they generated too many non-recyclable sweet wrappers when raiding the chocolate box.

A ravenous 23 percent said Christmas was the time of year when they were likely to eat more meat, while 22 percent felt some eco-guilt about running lots of lights and electrical items to get their home feeling festive.

The average Brit will wrap 17 presents this Christmas, using three-and-a-half rolls of three-metre wrapping paper in the process.

But one in five (21 percent) have changed things up in the past, wrapping a gift in newspaper, while 16 percent have taken magazine cuttings to cover a gift for a loved one.

Of the toughest wrapping challenges likely to be tackled by festive adults this Christmas, a bicycle was viewed as the most difficult item to conceal, followed by a drumkit and a house plant.

And one in three (32 percent) have had second thoughts about picking up an awkwardly-shaped gift, because of the hassle it would cause to wrap.

A confident 21 percent believe their wrapping skills are second to none – while 48 percent would rate themselves as average or sub-par paper smiths.

The study, conducted by OnePoll, found 43 percent would expect to pay more for wrapping paper which is 100 percent recyclable.

As for discerning whether wrapping paper is recyclable or not, just two in five (39 percent) know to do “the scrunch test”, where recyclable paper will stay scrunched in a ball and non-recyclable will not.

But sustainability is top of the mind for 67 percent, who would like to make smarter choices to do their bit for the planet.

The Quality Street spokesman added: “We’re proud to have a long running association with Christmas and, with our move to paper packaging, it will soon be as easy to recycle our wrappers as it is to enjoy the delicious sweets inside.

“To celebrate our move, and for a bit of festive fun, we’re putting on the first ever “Quality Street Christmas Wrapped Up” pop-up, where fans can bring an item to be gift wrapped in limited-edition wrapping paper made from the same recyclable paper as our sweets.”

It will be taking place today only (December 21st) at 68 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 4UN, from 12-7pm.

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