The region also receives 10 million unwanted presents each year, according to www.ziffit.com.
The extent of Christmas waste is revealed, as the latest figures show households in the South East are set to clear out a massive six million bin-bags worth of stuff, and that’s just in preparation for the holiday season, it added.
The new research released by Ziffit.com found almost a third (29%) of households in the South East will roll up their sleeves for a pre-Christmas clear out, with one in three (33%) confessing this is purely to create space for new gifts.
Despite purging their homes to make space, more than half of people in the South East are expecting to receive unwanted gifts they will never use.
Clothing topped the list of gifts most likely to be re-gifted or thrown away, while perfume and gadgets came in at a close second and third respectively, according to the research which surveyed 2,000 people across the UK in November.
Paul Treanor, eCommerce director at Ziffit said: “I was surprised to find out just how many unwanted presents the South East accumulates each year. It’s also astonishing to see that, people get rid of such a huge amount in the run up to Christmas, only to make space for more unwelcome stuff.
“Encouragingly our research showed that the region’s first port of call was to take unwanted gifts to a charity shop. However, a third of the people we surveyed admitted they put these presents away and forget about them, while almost a third will re-gift them.
“We know from our customers that unwanted gifts can in fact be a real lifeline financially, with plenty of money to be made from selling presents online – and keeping them out of landfill.”
Andrew Pendleton, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth, added: “After a roller-coaster year, Christmas will be a time to reflect, recover and relax.
“The good news is that there’s no need to decide between ‘fun’ and ‘good’ this December.
“Giving experiences rather than just stuff is becoming increasingly popular, as are e-cards which have the benefit of being instant – no more missing the last Christmas post.
“There are also loads of creative, on-trend ways to upcycle at Christmas with home-made decorations and delicious left-over recipes. These are all small ways you can help to chuck out less – good for you, your wallet and the environment.”
Ziffit is a website and app where people can sell unwanted books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and games for cash.
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