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Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

Christmas…how to get it wrapped without plastic

It’s that time of year again when there’s only one thing on most people’s minds – and in the shops, on the radio, everywhere you turn. Yes, we mean Christmas. And with Christmas comes presents, and presents means wrapping. Lots of wrapping…

However, much of the wrapping paper and tape available on the high street contains plastic and can’t be recycled. It’s best to leave it on the shop shelves.

plastic free wrapping graphic

If you are not sure if your wrapping paper is recyclable, try the ‘crunch test’. Crunch the paper into a ball and, if it stays in a ball it’s recyclable but if it unfurls itself, it contains plastic and cannot be recycled.

So, what can you use instead? We’ve trawled the web and here are a few lovely, plastic-free alternatives:

  • Use recycled wrapping paper. Check out the Plastic Free Shop here for ideas
  • Furoshiki, the ancient Japanese art of using fabric to wrap presents

Use newspaper – especially the cartoon section – or brown paper and string. If you don’t like plain brown paper, decorate it with stamps or paint or use buttons, felt, flowers, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, dried orange slices, real holly/ivy and wax to decorate them.

Above are some lovely examples from left to right by Helen Philipps, Natalia Kostyrya, Denise Mingachos and Trinette Reed Above are some lovely examples from left to right by Helen Philipps, Natalia Kostyrya, Denise Mingachos and Trinette Reed

  • Use plastic-free tape like this. If you’re not keen on brown tape, you could decorate it with stamps or paint
  • Make and use Danish heart baskets. You can make them from paper, card, felt or fabric in different sizes
  • Use reusable gift fabric wraps like these
  • Or if you can sew, create little bags for your gifts

Happy wrapping!

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