“Have a very Green Christmas” is the message coming from Clare County Council as everyone is urged to play their part in preventing the generation of waste over the holiday period.

The local authority’s Environment Section says that making choices to reduce packaging and re-use Christmas paper and other items wherever possible helps to reduce the impact of waste on the environment.

The public can bring a carload of recyclable waste to its recycling centres and transfer stations at Shannon, Ballyduffbeg, Lisdeen, Scarriff and Ennis for as little as €5.00.

“I am delighted that the council’s Environment Section is issuing important advice to the public on how they can minimise the impact of their Christmas on the environment,” said Mayor of Clare, Councillor Tom McNamara.

“The people of Clare are very aware of the importance of preventing waste and have always been very responsible when it comes to the recycling of plastic, paper and glass materials built up over the Christmas period, and I am confident that they will respond similarly this year.”

“With the Christmas holidays comes lots of extra packaging, particularly in the home,” explained Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer with Clare County Council.

Karen continued “Most packaging can be reused or up-cycled, and it’s important to remember too that much of this packaging can be recycled. There is new recycling list that householders can access if there is uncertainty on what they put in their household recycling bin can or cannot be recycled. The list can be accessed at www.recyclinglistireland.ie.

“This Christmas we are again reminding the public that they can also bring their recyclable waste to our recycling centres and bottles and aluminium cans to one of fifty one bring banks around Clare.”

“We are also reminding the public to keep bring bank sites clean and tidy by depositing only bottles and aluminium cans into the banks. Boxes, bags or other materials used to carry recyclables must be taken home,” added Ms Foley.

“Bring-banks are serviced regularly. However, there is a huge demand on sites at this time of year.  Where bring banks are full, alternatives sites should be used.  We thank the public for their co-operation.”

14 Tips to Prevent and Reduce Your Waste This Christmas

1. Choose products with less packaging. Say no to excess packaging.

2. Buy experiences rather than gifts!

3. Cook your present! Invite friends over for dinner as a present and prepare a special meal for their favourite foods.

4. More gift ideas – other great gift ideas include upcycled Christmas tree decorations, native trees vouchers, solar-powered radios and torches, energy saving light bulbs, aid for development work overseas, or a home composter.

5. Offset extra miles, give a tree or garden plant as a gift to help offset extra miles travelled at Christmas.

6. Buy a battery charger – avoid gifts which require batteries, or purchase a battery recharger and rechargeable batteries.

7. E-Cards – Why not send a festive e-card instead of a paper one, or make your own from paper and textile scraps you find around the house

8. Alternative wrapping – Try alternative wrappings like a newspaper, old material and string or ribbon that can be reused. Or consider gift bags as they can be reused over and over.

9. Shopping bags – Bring your own reusable bags when shopping. Say no to plastic bags.

10. Make a list! – Make a shopping list so you’re not tempted to buy things you don’t really need or want.

11. Low food air miles – Shop for locally produced food or fair trade labels. Challenge yourself to make dinner entirely from locally produced produce.

12. Food for thought – At least 30% of all the food we buy is thrown out!  Visit www.stopfoodwaste.ie for inspiring ideas on how to shop smarter for food over the festive period as well as recipes for what to do with leftovers.

13. Recycle – remember to use your dry recyclable collection provided by your waste collector – for a list of what can recycled visit http://recyclinglistireland.ie/. To prevent contamination in the household recycling bin it is important to ensure that items being placed in this bin are clean, empty and loose.  You can also use your local bottle bank and/or Recycling Centre.

14. Buying Presents – buy locally produced gifts, you’re supporting local jobs and helping the environment by reducing air miles.  Treat someone to an “experience present” such as theatre or concert tickets, evening classes, restaurant vouchers, etc. to cut down on Christmas packaging.

Details regarding recycling centre locations, opening times and recycling costs are available from www.clarecoco.ie.