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Choosing the most eco friendly gift wrap options

Eco gift wrap

Last Christmas there was a Facebook post that went viral about how brown kraft wrapping paper was the only recyclable wrapping paper. That is complete and utter nonsense.

Wrapping paper is one of the areas where there has been a massive shift over the past 5 years as suppliers attempt to make it more eco-friendly. Now almost all gift wrap is recyclable (just avoid foil, glitter and general bling) and a lot of gift wrap is now made from 100% recycled paper.

This is a relatively recent thing - 3 years ago the most eco option for printing gift wrap for a small business like ours was on 50% recycled 50% FSC paper. Now there are several printing companies in the UK where we can order 100% recycled paper, printed in the UK with eco inks.

Of course that doesn’t mean that we should all go wild with the wrapping, even recycled paper has a high energy production cost (more than plastic) - but it does mean that there are more options.

My own view is that reusing wrapping is the way to go - especially with gifts to adults.

When I was a child even Santa reused wrapping paper from one year to another - there was no ripping our way into gifts as all the paper was smoothed out and put into a special bag for the elves to collect.

For me this means wrapping without lots of sellotape, or using gift boxes and bags. Make it all look so beautiful that the gift is unwrapped slowly and kept. It also means wrapping with left over papers and fabrics - wall paper, magazines, newspaper, old scrap fabrics - rather than always buying new. The Japanese art of furoshiki - wrapping with fabric - is making a comeback. Though do make sure that people re-use the fabric (or give you it back) and don't just end up throwing it out.

There are lots of ways to dress your presents so it looks intentional, beautiful and right rather than last minute of penny pinching.

Above all, don't feel that you should only use brown paper if you would prefer something jazzier. Look on websites for paper credentials - most are FSC certified and many 100% recycled.

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