Cut Down on Excess Packaging This Holiday Season

Cut Down on Excess Packaging This Holiday Season

Exchanging gifts adds joy to the holiday season, yet the delight is diminished when faced with the accumulation of discarded packaging. This year, amid America's ongoing Recycling Crisis, the impact of residual packaging waste is more significant than ever.
China closed its doors to plastic waste imports in January 2018; up until then it had taken 70 percent of the United States' plastic waste and two-thirds of the UK's.
Despite receiving sufficient forewarning about the imminent change, the U.S. neglected to construct supplementary recycling infrastructure, initiate campaigns to reduce waste, or exert pressure on manufacturers for improved packaging designs. Implementing even a few of these measures could have assisted in addressing this substantial issue. Regrettably, the recycling situation currently remains in disarray.
Lamenting the lack of recycling infrastructure is not going to change the unfortunate fact that our society is not set up to handle this level of waste right now. But knowing that, we have a clear responsibility to minimize this waste as best we can, and tackling it on a personal level is all we can do.
You can avoid unnecessary packaging when shopping for and wrapping holiday gifts in a number of ways.
  • When shopping online, inquire about packaging prior to placing an order. Support companies whose shipping bags and boxes are plastic-free and fully recyclable.
  • Make your own presents, using materials you already have.
  • Buy second-hand presents from thrift stores, local swap sites, or antique shops. These always come free from packaging.
It's not going to solve the recycling crisis overnight, but neither will improving our recycling infrastructure. What's needed more than that is a dramatic shift in the way we shop and handle our goods, always moving toward less packaging or choosing eco-friendly packaging.
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