Lifestyle / Society

Why you should 'cancel' tinsel, and what to use instead

By Annie Brown
amalie moosgaard

Photo: Amalie Moosgaard

How to have festive decor without compromising the planet

‘Tis the season for all things bright and beautiful, but when it comes to one festive tradition, well, is this the year that we really do cancel tinsel? Tinsel, along with glitter, shiny wrapping paper, ribbon and other holiday trimmings that will be on the earth longer than our great grandchildren, is certainly losing its shine.


"Tinsel is usually made of fossil-based plastic, mainly PVC, which is currently not easily recycled," explains Daniela Bqain, manager of sustainability engagement at Stora Enso. "This means that it often ends up either in the landfill or into incineration. At the landfill it does not readily degrade and during this long degradation process it releases toxic chemicals into the environment. Toxic chemicals are also produced if PVC ends up in incineration at end-of-life."

Tinsel christmas tree decorating xmas vintage baubles

Photo: Getty

The shift toward more sustainable and environmentally friendly festive decorations can be charted on TikTok, where the hashtag #sustainablechristmas has more than 3.2 million views and on Instagram the hashtag #zerowasteholidays is another source of inspiration. It’s not all brown paper and twine either. Indeed the tinsel will hardly be missed.

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