Circular economy

Anti-waste advice for Christmas by Comieco

Questo post è disponibile anche in: Italian

“Green” gift wrapping, tips for food preservation and waste sorting: all the suggestions by the Consortium.

Let’s not transform Christmas into an international dumping celebration – we dump wrapping paper, food and much more: this is the suggestion by Comieco, the National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Cellulose Packaging, which published a guide on how to make presents and enjoy holidays in a sustainable way.

Comieco prepared a list of quick tips that range from the wrapping of the presents to put under the Christmas tree to all possible convivial moments. First of all, Comieco gives suggestions on how to make sustainable and creative gift packages with old paper and cardboard items and wrappings. Handmade Christmas packages are pretty easy to create: old baskets, trays, fruit crates, cardboard boxes, paper bags, maps, old newspapers and even the cardboard from cookie packages can be really helpful.

Interesting tips can be found in “Uso e Riuso: il design per il pack in carta e cartone”, a collection of examples of paper and cardboard packaging meant for multiple uses. The brochure was edited by Matrec (International Observatory for the Sustainable Innovation of Products and Materials) for the Consortium.

The guide also contains useful tips about convivial moments such as holiday meals: in this time of the year more than ever, it is essential to follow the rules of common sense to optimize the preservation of food products with a correct use of their packaging, and to pay attention to waste sorting.

To guarantee an optimal preservation of food, Comieco reminds:

  • Fruit and vegetables don’t deteriorate any quicker in their original packaging: products should be conserved in the package they were sold in. Remember to store fresh products in the fridge.
  • Always read labels carefully, and check in particular the expiration date (both when buying the product and when storing it at home) and the use advice (not only for products bought for the first time, but also for usual ones).
  • Don’t cut or pierce the packages.
  • Use the stickers or other devices provided to close the package after opening it for the first time.

Furthermore, seven rules are given for high-quality waste sorting:

  • Appetizers: if you’re serving cheese or salami, keep in mind that wax paper is not recyclable, therefore it has to be thrown away with unsorted waste, unless it is made of separable layers, such as paper and plastic. In that case, each individual part can be sorted.
  • Main courses: oven paper, like the one used for lasagne, goes in the unsorted waste.
  • Meat: separate the cardboard box from the bag that contains sausages like cotechino or zampone.
  • Desserts: there’s no Christmas without panettone, pandoro and nougat! Remember to separate the cardboard box from the cellophane bag that contains the sweets.
  • Used napkins: throw them with the wet waste, if you can.
  • If you celebrate in a restaurant, keep in mind that receipts are not to be thrown with paper, but with the unsorted waste, because they are made of chemically treated paper.
  • Packaging is constantly evolving: always check on the package, because the containers of your food can probably be reused as containers for paper or wet waste!
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