Christmas Wrapping / Wasting Paper

Scott Snashfold, Senior Designer, puts some thought into how we can create a more sustainable solution... to wrapping paper.

Over the weekend in Paris it was announced that the world has agreed to attempt to save the world. To put it into more technical terms, we have committed to ensuring the increase in global temperature does not exceed 2 degrees by the turn of the century. It is obviously a shame that it has gotten so bad that these talks had become a make or break for the future of our planet. But we should embrace this fantastic news, and do what can before its too late.

So we all as humans need to get smarter with how we use resources. We all need to be conscious of our carbon footprint and the amount of needless waste we create. And we especially need to think about this at Christmas.

As well as joyful, it can be an incredibly wasteful time of the year. But there has always been one particularly wasteful activity has always played on my mind. Now I don't want to come over all Scrooge, as I completely appreciate one of the many joys of Christmas is the tearing away at the wrapping paper to reveal yet another pair of brown socks from Great Auntie. But after the excitement is over all that is left is a huge pile of wasted wrapping paper. And some brown socks.

I'm guessing the sheer amount of wrapping paper produced makes it difficult to get exact numbers, but I did see an eye watering figure of over 226,000 miles of wrapping paper produced in the UK alone. That's enough to go round the world 9 times. That's the same world we are trying to save.

So if we can all agree that wrapping paper is just a huge short-lived waste of trees, then we can agree that is worth trying to find an alternative.

Earlier this year in the UK a plastic bag tax was introduced. Essentially if you want plastic bags then you have to pay 5p in the hope this will encourage you to keep and reuse them. Lots of people thought it was good idea - some moaned - but ultimately it seems to have worked. Inspired by this idea, I started to think if we could give the bag from the shop you bought your presents another purpose? Can brands, a little bit of design and a simple but resourceful idea transform the humble bag to double up as wrapping paper? I think it can.

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Yes, we may end up killing of the Christmas wrapping paper industry. But if this idea means that brands can help encourage more sustainable behaviour amongst their consumers, then so be it. And whilst we're at it, why stop of Christmas? Birthdays, Mothers Days, even Valentine’s days; there is a wrapping paper bag for any occasion. After all, saving the planet is for life, not just for Christmas.