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Christmas trees contribute to three million tonnes of extra waste over the festive period



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Every year during the festive period, people from across the UK produce an additional three million tonnes of waste.

From plastic packaging to travelling miles to find the perfect size and shape, real Christmas trees can account for a lot of that waste. .

Shoppers chose real trees for the smell and nostalgia
Shoppers chose real trees for the smell and nostalgia

Many of us decide to opt for a fake tree - whether that's for the perfect look, avoiding needles dropping all over the carpet or because you'd rather re-use the same tree every single year.

A single artificial tree will generate up to 40kg of carbon dioxide - so perhaps not the reduce, re-use, recycle message you would hope for?

Some households will also buy a new artificial tree every couple of years.

In fact, more than one million of these plastic trees will be discarded every January.

Shoppers can pick their own Christmas tree at this farm
Shoppers can pick their own Christmas tree at this farm

Rob Schroeder, from Kingswood Christmas Trees, in Kent, argues that real fir trees are generally better for the planet.

He said: "A plastic tree is not a tree is it - it's a bit of plastic and it's probably travelled from China.

"As we all know, it's hard to get rid of - there's just plastic everywhere.

"The real trees are growing all year and take carbon dioxide out of the air.

"The smell and feel of a real tree is just far superior to a plastic tree."

Plastic trees are often discarded in January and take a long time to decompose
Plastic trees are often discarded in January and take a long time to decompose

Customers who shopped at the farm revealed why they were swayed to buy a real Christmas tree instead of a fake one.

For some it was the tradition of going to buy a real tree and the nostalgia in the distinct smell.

Although for others it was their first time after developing a distaste for the plastic ones.

One shopper even said: "It's more environmentally friendly, I know you cant re-use it but you can recycle it.

"It just gives us such pleasure and such joy."

Mr Schroeder and his team plant up to 10,000 trees every single year.

He added: "I guess we are a very green, sustainable business.

"In a modern world it is very important to do things that are sustainable."

However, it may not be quite the Christmas eco-miracle that people think.

Real Christmas trees take a minimum of 12 years to grow to size and every year nearly seven million end up in landfill.

Real Christmas trees for sale
Real Christmas trees for sale

Once in landfill, each forgotten tree will release 16kg of greenhouse gases as they decompose.

To do the maths, a fake Christmas tree will be just as environmentally friendly as a real one, but only if you re-use it for 12 years.

So what is the best way to be sustainable for next Christmas?

The answer is simple - a real potted Christmas tree bought from your local farm.

They may not be the biggest and most extravagant, but if you manage to keep it alive, it can be re-used the following year.



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