Following reports last year of Britons wasting over £1.2 billion on unwanted Christmas presents*,, the online social shopping community, reminds shoppers to be extra mindful of the environment when purchasing Christmas gifts for their loved ones.

This call to action follows the site’s recent campaign launch, which encouraged shoppers to avoid millions of unwanted Christmas gifts this year by listing the gifts that they really want with a new tongue-in-cheek campaign and dedicated website:

Chris Osborne co-founder and CEO of boxedup comments: “Unwanted presents are as much a part of Christmas as turkey and mince pies. Unwanted lotions, useless toys and unusable gadgets generally top the list to cause widespread disappointment and only end up being stuffed in a drawer and forgotten about!

Chris continues; “The holiday season is traditionally fraught with waste packaging, wrapping papers, extra energy consumption, all of which, will have a damaging impact on the environment this year. Many of us are becoming more eco-savvy, so why not be more eco-savvy and give a great gift at the same time?”.

According to Wasteonline, the leading environmental charity dedicated to the reduction, reuse and recycling of household waste, Christmas will result in an estimated 3 million tonnes of waste and as much as 83 square km of wrapping paper, which will end up in UK rubbish bins, enough to cover an area larger than Guernsey**.

Caroline Laitner, Senior Consultant from Wasteonline comments; “The Royal Mail delivers around 150 million cards and packets each day during the pre-Christmas period. It is estimated that up to 1 billion Christmas cards could end up in bins across the UK over the Christmas period**.

We need to find ways this Christmas to not only recycle more, but also to reduce our waste. We need to focus our efforts and change our habits and what better time than during the Christmas period; a new approach for a New Year!”.

boxedup provides it's users with a service to help them organise their online shopping activity, through building lists of things they're looking to buy from any store on the web. It is also about sharing their shopping-related experiences with friends and family (and other people with common interests). Sharing gift lists is a core feature of the service, helping to ensure that money is well spent, waste is minimised and people are given things that they actually need and want.

* Oxfam estimated that £1.2billion would be spent on 87.6 million unwanted Christmas gifts in 2007.
** Information available on the Wasteonline website

Published on: 12:00AM on 11th December 2008