THE odds are stacked against a white Christmas in Swindon this year, but the council would like us to try for a green one.

Swindon Borough Council has issued advice on reducing the waste we generate over the holiday in light of the news each household makes nearly a third more rubbish, on average, in Christmas week than normal.

The council says 226,800 miles of wrapping paper is thrown away at Christmas – enough to stretch nine times around the world.

To save on this waste it suggests people might wrap gifts in old newspaper or gift bags – or make sure to unwrap gifts carefully and re-use the paper next year.

Some wrapping paper is recyclable – avoid wrap with glitter, fabric, film or plastic on it. If you’re not sure the scrunch test will tell you if your wrap is recyclable. If it scrunches into a ball and doesn’t have glitter or fabric on it, it’s recyclable. If it springs back it isn’t.

Plastic bows and tags are also not recyclable. You can buy plain paper or card gift tags, or the council suggests, decorate your parcel with leaves and unpainted pine cones which can then be composted.

The council also suggests: “Natural decorations are both beautiful and biodegradable. Forage in your garden or your local surroundings for flowers, pine cones, dried fruit, berries, feathers, cinnamon sticks and driftwood.

“Create ornaments that you can use again or compost them into soil improver at the end of the festive period.”

More ideas on cutting waste are available at