Sobering Fact: Wrapping Paper Could Cover Over 5000 Football Fields

Gift Wrapping RollsThe holidays may be gone, but those bulging bags of trash are probably still waiting to be taken off of your hands. There may be a swell of food scraps in there from a holiday feast, but a lot of that bulk is the discarded skins of surprise that recently held our presents-to-be. While standing as a time-honored tradition, wrapping presents also marks a spike in the waste that we create throughout the year. According to the Wall Street Journal, gift wrapping sales in the U.S. totaled $9.36 billion in 2010 (more than the combined GDP of Africa’s 9 poorest countries). One of the problems with traditional wrapping paper is that its dying and lamination make recycling difficult. This means that most of that paper does not end up in a plastic bin targeted for reuse, but in trash bags headed for a landfill and we produce 4 million pounds of it.

To get an idea of how much that is, a typical paper density for gift wrapping paper is 60 grams per square meter (or about 0.012 pounds per square foot).  At 4 million pounds, that’s over 333 million square feet, or about 5,787 NFL football fields worth of wrapping. One option is to try and find wrapping paper made with recycled content. A better option is to wrap with paper that is already lying around like newspaper.

This year I opted for wrapping with paper grocery bags

This year I opted for wrapping with paper grocery bags

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4 Responses to “Sobering Fact: Wrapping Paper Could Cover Over 5000 Football Fields”

  1. Very interesting. The fact that we spent 9.36 billion dollars on wrapping paper is staggering. The problem is most people that bought wrapping paper will tell you it was money well spent.

  2. Wrapping with already existing material is a wonderful way to use up resources that have already been created. You can still take in that feeling of suspense and excitement by wrapping with alternatives to wrapping paper. Thanks for sharing this stats!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How To Wrap Gifts Without Wasting Paper & Money | Change Your State - December 9, 2013

    […] that wrapping creates an estimated 4 million tons of trash each year. That’s equivalent to 5,787 NFL football fields worth of wrapping paper. And not that this blog is about football field comparisons, but while […]

  2. Are Your Holiday Traditions Impacting the Planet? | Change Your State - December 10, 2013

    […] wrapping creates an estimated 4 million tons of trash each year. That’s equivalent to 5,787 NFL football fields worth of wrapping paper. Use newspapers, old maps or paper grocery bags to wrap packages (try our […]

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