5 sustainable gift wrapping ideas

At this time of year, many of us will be buying presents for our loved ones. But with lots of presents, comes lots of gift wrapping and lots of waste.

Having a unique and beautifully wrapped Christmas gift is important to many, but being eco-friendly and sustainable is just as important to us.

On top of this, many types of wrapping paper can’t be recycled, or end up in your recycling bin anyway. This can sometimes mean that the rest of your paper and cardboard waste can’t be recycled properly as the waste is contaminated with non-recyclable materials.

But gift wrapping can be eco-friendly. If, like us, you’d like to be more environmentally conscious and help look after our planet, here are top sustainable gift wrapping ideas for you to try.

Forage for decorations

Using branches, leaves and other trimmings can make your gift wrapping look so expensive and unique! If you’ve opted for a real Christmas tree this year, you could add clippings from your tree to your gifts to give them a festive edge.

You can also use clippings from your own garden or park. Pine cones, holly leaves, winter berries or even dried leaves can look great. Consider pairing them with plain, recyclable brown paper and twine that can be either reused or recycled. Your festive trimmings will take your gift decorations to the next level!

Invest in fabric wrapping

Fabric wrapping is becoming increasingly popular, with many of us wanting to create less waste at Christmas. Now, you can purchase fabric wrapping materials instead of paper!

You can visit Etsy to shop for your favourite pattern and design, as well as support small businesses in the UK.

The fabric wrappings look incredible and will certainly set your gifts apart! You can either use a piece of ribbon to keep them sealed, or tie the fabric in a knot to keep your loved ones from peaking! Visit to purchase reusable fabric.

Reuse and recycle materials

When you’re out and about shopping for your festive wrapping, if you choose to go for traditional wrapping paper, consider purchasing ones that can be recycled. Surprisingly, not all wrapping paper can be made into shiny new paper.

Avoid wrapping paper with glitter or other plastic decorations. You should also avoid wrapping paper that is made with foil or plastic materials. If you’re not sure if your wrapping paper can be recycled, try doing the scrunch test. All you need to do is scrunch some of the paper in your hand into a ball. If the paper holds its shape, then it can be recycled. If it bounces back, it probably can’t be recycled. Remember, even if your paper passes the scrunch test and has glitter on it, it still can’t be recycled.

Your local council may have more information on the type of items that can and can’t be recycled in your wheelie bin, so make sure to check their website or social media channels for updates.

Once you’ve chosen your wrapping paper of choice, a great idea to reduce waste is to reuse the paper, if you can! Try to avoid using a lot of tape to hold your wrapping together. You could even try folding your paper so you don’t need to use tape at all!

Use your old newspapers

If you’re someone that already purchases newspapers, then using them for your gift wrapping is a great idea! This avoids you having to buy more paper and will make your gifts look fun and unique. If you want to take your wrapping to the next level, you could also look at including some natural decorations as mentioned above. Look out for pinecones, Christmas tree trimmings, holly leaves, winter berries or dried leaves.

Use recycled paper

If you can’t help but purchase traditional wrapping paper, then think about buying wrapping paper that has been recycled and can be recycled again. When it comes to being more eco-friendly, reusing is often better than recycling, but recycling is still really important.

Recycled wrapping paper is just as good, if not better, than paper that hasn’t been recycled yet. So many resources go into creating and producing paper, which affects our climate. But by opting for recycled paper, you’re helping to avoid more greenhouse gases being produced from creating new paper.

However you decide to gift wrap your presents this festive season, we hope you have a very merry Christmas!