Sustainable Wrapping Paper Alternatives


At Christmas last year I searched high and low for recycled wrapping paper and eventually settled on buying some from Oxfam (although I’m not sure whether it was made from recycled paper). Along with Christmas cards, gift wrapping is a tricky tradition that I really want to keep but worry it is unnecessary from a sustainability perspective. In the UK, Defra estimates that enough paper is used each year to gift-wrap the island of Guernsey. They also estimate that each year, 83 sq km of wrapping paper ends up in UK rubbish bins and some authorities can’t recycle it. Approximately 50,000 trees are used to make the 8,250 tonnes of wrapping consumed at Christmas. That’s a lot of trees to use for one day of the year.

A couple of years ago I came across the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki, the reusable wrapping cloth. It is thought that this tradition could date as far back as the Nara period (AD 710) when pieces of fabric were used to transport clothes and gifts. The tradition has been partly lost in the Japanese culture but is coming back as the eco-friendly way to wrap presents. When I came across Furoshiki I thought it was a fabulous idea and could make a lovely business. Of course two lovely ladies beat me to it and started Wrag Wrap, a product design and manufacturing company based in the South Hams, Devon.

Wrag Wraps are made using fabric rather than paper and are therefore reusable time and time again. Each product has been designed to overcome the limitations of paper, wrapping a whole range of different shapes and sizes of gift – with no fuss or waste. No need for sellotape or safety pins, wrapping has never been easier. Each wrap comes in a range of sizes to cover almost any gift, with a choice of patterns. They launched a range of five Christmas designs with sweet reindeers and winter trees in festive reds and greens. Why not give it a go?

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