Half of Britons would happily receive unwrapped presents this Christmas to help cut the amount of waste generated over the festive season, a poll has found.
More than two-thirds of people (69%) consider the amount of rubbish thrown out over Christmas to be unacceptable, the survey of more than 2,000 people by FlyResearch for Sky Ocean Rescue found.
Some 50% said they would be happy to receive unwrapped gifts to reduce waste and 46% would rather receive a digital Christmas greeting such as a text, email or social media message.
While 84% of consumers are concerned about the amount of plastic packaging used on gifts, the research also found that Britons would use an estimated 300 million plastic straws and cups at Christmas parties this year.
A quarter of people (23%) said they were too busy to worry about their use of plastic over the festive season despite knowing the harm it caused and 22% claimed there was too much waste in their homes over Christmas to be able to recycle it.
Sky’s campaign, which aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the world’s seas, is urging consumers to think twice about using single-use plastics and to use wrapping paper that can be recycled.
The research found that while 86% of Britons plan to take the time to separate out recycling this Christmas, 37% mistakenly believe that Christmas cards with glitter can be recycled and 60% are incorrectly planning to recycle shiny or glittery wrapping paper.
Campaigner and model Jodie Kidd said: “The stats about how much single-use plastic is used at Christmas are alarming but there are small, simple behaviour changes that can make a big difference.
“For starters, say no to straws and plastic cups when you’re celebrating this Christmas.
“As a pub owner, banning plastic straws and cups was one of the first decisions I made.
“The small things we can all do can help make all the difference to protect the health of our beautiful oceans, so be an Ocean Hero this Christmas and say no to single-use plastics.”
Sky group chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “Over two-thirds of us know that we generate an unacceptable amount of waste at Christmas so let’s do something about it and start by saying no to single-use plastics.”
* FlyResearch surveyed 2,000 respondents across the UK in November.