2,000 tonnes of uneaten cheese among 300,000 tonnes of waste thrown away over Christmas

Thousands of tonnes of cheese and half eaten mince pies are among 300,000 tonnes of waste dumped over Christmas.

Recycling firm TradeWaste said 302,913 tonnes of waste is being dumped this week alone across the UK, as bins are filled to the brim.

The firm’s Charlotte Green said: “Even with a slightly toned-down Christmas this year, we all know how full the bins get after Christmas – it’s now clear the huge environmental impact all this waste has.

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“The numbers are simply astonishing – 2,000 tonnes of uneaten cheese chucked out for example.”

Cheese (stock image)

The online survey carried out by TradeWaste.co.uk asked 4,500 people about the contents of their Christmas bins, with food waste and food packaging creating the most waste this year.

Green added: “People seem to have taken to eating well this year, with lockdowns and all the doom and gloom – it seems comfort eating has become a national institution, however nearly 5,000 tonnes of half-eaten mince pies where thrown out - seems a terrible shame to me!”

Christmas food lovers (and haters) chucked out this year:

141,525 tonnes of food packaging

50,544 tonnes of leftover Christmas dinners

24,600 tonnes of glass drink bottles

7,500 tonnes of drink cans

4,800 tonnes of leftover mince pies

2,000 tonnes of cheese

It is not only leftover food waste which is filling the nations bins – wrapping paper, cards, decorations, TradeWaste said. Of course Christmas trees are all being thrown out this week – all 12,000 tonnes of them.

A spokesman said: “Luckily much of the waste created at Christmas can be recycled with trees being shredded into chippings, cards being munched for paper and some wrapping paper can be recycled too.

“The interesting one is Christmas lights – these should not be put in a general waste bin, instead they need to be taken to a local authority waste site and put in the small electricals skip where they can be processed.”

Seasonal goods we are chucking out this week include:

30,000 tonnes of Christmas cards

17,444 tonnes of Christmas wrapping paper

12,500 tonnes of Christmas decorations

12,000 tonnes of Christmas trees

68,488 miles of broken Christmas lights

Green said: “It’s really difficult to reduce waste at Christmas, but we can all do our bit. It’s really important to split up all the waste you have and put it in the correct bin – some need to be processed differently – like broken Christmas lights.

“I just want to know who is chucking out all the mince pies, seems such a travesty!”