Christmas Card Recycling

What to do with old Christmas cards

Every year millions of us receive and send Christmas cards. They can add a festive feel to your home, but recycling is vital once the holiday season is over. To instill the importance of Christmas card recycling, a few fascinating facts and stats about Christmas card waste are:

  • 30,000 tons of Christmas cards are thrown away every year in the UK.
  • All the Christmas cards thrown out is equivalent to £2.8 million worth of landfill
  • Currently, just one in four Christmas cards are recycled.
  • It’s estimated that around 8 billion Christmas cards are sent annually in the UK.
  • The average UK household sends 50 Christmas cards each year.
  • One tree can be turned into 3,000 Christmas cards.


You can recycle paper-based Christmas and envelopes. Therefore, most traditional Christmas cards are recyclable, and you can put them in your household recycling bin or take them to local recycling points (such as a nearby household waste recycling centre or some supermarkets). However, you must remove any non-paper or card-based additions, such as glitter and foil, to recycle Christmas cards.

You cannot recycle Christmas cards that contain:

  • Plastic
  • Glitter
  • Batteries
  • Electronics
  • Ribbons

Aside from recycling, there are many other things you can do with any old Christmas cards you find yourself with in January. These Christmas card recycling ideas are a wonderful way to reduce your waste over the festive season:

  • Make gift tags – simply cut out any aspect of a Christmas card that would make a good gift tag, punch a hole in the corner, and thread through some ribbon. Get creative and make gift tags in various shapes and sizes.
  • Create a collage – cut out any of the designs from your old Christmas cards and arrange them in a picture frame to create an effective festive collage.
  • Turn into new cards – don’t just cross out the names and resend. Instead, cut to size any of the images you like and stick on a blank card to make some new Christmas cards ready for next year.
  • Use as decorations – cut up the cards into evenly sizes strips and loop them together to make festive paper chains. You could also cut them into shapes and thread them onto some string to form festive bunting.
  • Build a puzzle – slice up an old Christmas card into funky shapes to create a fun puzzle for kids and adults. Cut it into as many shapes and sizes as you like for an easy or tricky challenge.



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