Give plastic the heave ho-ho-ho this Christmas

Dawn Dickens, Education Officer with the Manx Wildlife Trust, suggests how to cut down on plastic use this festive season

It’s that time of the year, again, when our bins overflow with all the plastic waste and packaging that comes with Christmas. So if you want to reduce it, what should you do?

Here are some ideas:

Then most important thing is to plan and turn the exercise into a family effort, with children joining in. Even the most reluctant teenager can’t resist the peppermint creams.


Buy your meat from a local butcher and take along your own containers to put it in. Try making your own mince pies to avoid the plastic tray. You can use a jar of mincemeat and jazz it up with more cranberries etc. Yummy. Cheese is an excellent option as you can buy it in wax and it makes a great present, too. Try making your own sweets. Peppermint creams are so easy to make, 12oz of icing sugar mixed with peppermint oil, food colouring and a frothed up egg white. Kids just love making them.

Advent calendars:

Most come with a plastic tray so, instead, try getting and decorating paper bags numbered 1 to 25, hang them on a line using pegs and put in small, no-plastic gifts. You'll avoid sugar overloaded children, too. You can let the children decorate the bags themselves and practice their maths by putting the numbers in the correct order.


Glossy wrapping paper is non-recyclable so why not buy brown paper and go all out on the ribbon, tucking in a sprig of real fir. Another idea is to cut out a holly leaf from a potato and print a pattern onto the paper. Brilliant fun for kids.


If you need new trimmings, don’t opt for plastic ones. Gather up some twigs and glue them into the shape of a Christmas tree or spray paint some fir cones, stick on a paper pulp ball for a head with wool hair and skeletonised leaves for wings.

A lot of these ideas save you money, too, so grab some family time, make it a plastic-reduced Christmas and help the Island's wildlife.

Posted up on 2nd December 2018


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