Six eco-friendly alternatives to wrapping paper

Every year, more than 365,000 kilometers of wrapping paper is thrown away. Here are some earth-friendly alternatives you can try instead.

At Christmas time, huge amounts of single-use wrapping paper get torn up and thrown away once gifts are opened. The good news is, there are plenty of simple swaps that can help reduce waste and plastic during the holidays. Read on to find out more…

1 - Choose your paper wisely
If you receive a gift in wrapping paper, unwrap it gently. You can save the paper and reuse it for future gifts. Wrapping made from 100 per cent paper can go in your recycling bin, even if it has sticky tape attached, while plastic cellophane can be recycled in a soft plastics bin at your local supermarket. Avoid using metallic wrapping or paper with glitter or foil detail, which can’t be recycled and will end up in landfill.

2 - Brown paper packages, tied up with string
These are a few of our favorite things! Brown paper is making a comeback and can look super stylish when dressed up with dried or fresh flowers, a little sprig of holly or ivy, ribbon, Christmas ornaments or other pretty touches. The paper is compostable and the accessories can be used again.

Lady wrapping gifts with eco-friendly alternatives to wrapping paperTop stock photos via Shutterstock

3 - Use up your children’s old drawings
If your kids are prolific artists, re-use their old drawings to wrap your gifts in, or simply hand them some plain paper and let them go crazy with rubber stamps, or good old fashioned potato prints and paint.

4 - Try cloth wrapping
Furoshiki, or cloth wrapping, has been used in Japan for 1200 years. You can use pretty fabric, tea towels or scarves. Use fabric you already have at home or check out your local second-hand or charity store. The scarf section is often a treasure trove of lovely printed fabrics.

Furoshiki cloth wrapping giftsJulia Metkalova via Shutterstock

5 - Wrap gifts in your Pure Planet Club loo roll covers
Pure Planet Club's bamboo toilet tissue comes individually wrapped in beautifully printed and delicate marine designs. Instead of scrunching them up and chucking them in the recycling bin, use them to wrap small presents such as books and jewelry boxes.

6 - Give new life to old papers and magazines
Most of us have stacks of old magazines and newspapers laying around at home or cluttering up bookshelves. Wrapping gifts in old newspaper looks particularly pretty when you add red ribbon. It’s a creative and artful way to wrap your presents, costs nothing and is zero waste – better for your pocket and the environment!

Newspaper gift wrapOlhaBEK via Shutterstock