San Diego, USA — The most wonderful time of the year can often be one of the most wasteful as well. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), household waste increases more than 25 percent from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Despite all the excess, almost three quarters of Americans (74 percent) plan to do something this season to reduce their waste, according to a survey from ecoATM, the nationwide network of device recycling kiosks.
In addition to not wrapping gifts and reusing wrapping paper, gift bags and ribbons from previous holidays, 17 percent plan to use newspaper or other recycled paper to wrap gifts.
Some truly take these waste-cutting measures to heart, with eight percent of respondents not planning to fill any bags of trash with holiday excess: wrapping paper, ribbon, gift bags and product packaging. Nineteen percent are on the opposite end of the spectrum – saying they fill four or more bags, contributing to the additional one million tons of waste a week in U.S. landfills during the holidays, as reported by the EPA.
In addition to gift wrapping and ribbon waste, the holidays can also be a time when e-waste increases as many consumers unwrap new gadgets. According to the National Retail Federation, 30 percent of consumers plan to buy electronic items as gifts this holiday, adding to the growing number of discarded devices.