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WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...

Christmas…how to get it wrapped without plastic

It’s that time of year again when there’s only one thing on most people’s minds – and in the shops, on the radio, everywhere you turn. Yes, we mean Christmas. And with Christmas comes presents, and presents means wrapping. Lots of wrapping...

However, much of the wrapping paper and tape available on the high street contains plastic and can’t be recycled. It’s best to leave it on the shop shelves.

plastic free wrapping graphic

If you are not sure if your wrapping paper is recyclable, try the ‘crunch test’. Crunch the paper into a ball and, if it stays in a ball it’s recyclable but if it unfurls itself, it contains plastic and cannot be recycled.

So, what can you use instead? We’ve trawled the web and here are a few lovely, plastic-free alternatives:

  • Use recycled wrapping paper. Check out some shopping ideas
  • Furoshiki, the ancient Japanese art of using fabric to wrap presents

Use newspaper – especially the cartoon section – or brown paper and string. If you don’t like plain brown paper, decorate it with stamps or paint or use buttons, felt, flowers, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, dried orange slices, real holly/ivy and wax to decorate them.

Above are some lovely examples from left to right by Helen Philipps, Natalia Kostyrya, Denise Mingachos and Trinette Reed
Above are some lovely examples from left to right by Helen Philipps, Natalia Kostyrya, Denise Mingachos and Trinette Reed
  • Use plastic-free tape like this. If you’re not keen on brown tape, you could decorate it with stamps or paint
  • Make and use Danish heart baskets. You can make them from paper, card, felt or fabric in different sizes
  • Use reusable gift fabric wraps like these
  • Or if you can sew, create little bags for your gifts

Happy wrapping!

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