Sainsbury’s FSC Christmas card recycling drive grows in size

Christmas Card recycling

Recycling drive helps Forest Stewardship Council protect world’s forests. 50% of Brits recycle Christmas cards or wrapping paper after the holidays.

Sainsbury’s has extended the number of Christmas card collection points in its stores this year to help the Forest Stewardship Council UK protect the world’s forests. The collection boxes will be in over 1,000 supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the country until the 14 January. Sainsbury’s online customers can also have their cards collected from their homes when they receive their online shop, making it even easier to recycle and help reduce the amount of household waste going to landfill.

The collected cards will be recycled by Sainsbury’s and it will make a donation to the Forest Stewardship Council UK (FSC) in the New Year based on the volume of cards collected in its stores. Last year it donated almost £9,000 to help the FSC with its work to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. 

Meanwhile, it’s estimated that over a billion greeting cards are sold each year in the UK*, many of these in the lead up to Christmas, and latest research for Sainsbury’s** suggests that despite the popularity of technology traditional handwritten cards are still as popular as ever. In fact, of the 2,000 Brits recently surveyed, nine out of ten send traditional Christmas cards and half recycle cards or wrapping paper once the holidays are over.  

Paul Crewe, Sainsbury’s Head of Sustainability, Engineering & Energy said: "Giving and receiving cards remains a big part of Christmas and we’re delighted to have grown our recycling activity this year. We’ve had a really great response from customers in previous years and with their help we’re hoping to make an even bigger contribution this time.

"It’s an important donation for the invaluable work of the FSC and it complements the customer recycling centres at our stores, which is all part of our promise to put all waste to positive use."

Christmas card recycling Paul and team

Rosie Teasdale, Deputy Director, FSC UK said: "Sainsbury’s donation provides essential support for our education and awareness-raising work, helping us to help people in the UK protect the world’s forests. Recycling paper results in less waste going to landfill, it reduces the pressure on forests, and it’s helping to give future generations the gift of healthy forests."

Additionally, all ‘paper’ wrapping paper can also be placed in the Christmas card recycling collection boxes to support this activity [Sainsbury’s sells over five million rolls of wrapping paper each year - that’s enough to stretch from London to Tokyo and back].

Sainsbury’s achieved zero waste to landfill at all stores in 2013 and customers can recycle the following items at around 300 Sainsbury’s recycling centres, which complement existing kerbside collections:

  • Batteries: Every store provides a safe way for customers to dispose of batteries and Sainsbury’s customers recycled over 20 million batteries in 2013.
  • Mixed paper and card: Each month Sainsbury's customers recycle over 250 tonnes of paper and card – equivalent to over 1 million copies of The Times newspaper. 
  • Mixed cans: Every month Sainsbury's customers recycle around four tonnes of cans and tins – enough to make 285 bicycles 
  • Mixed glass and plastic: Over 13,000 tonnes of glass is thrown out in the UK during the festive season – from champagne and sherry bottles to mincemeat and cranberry sauce jars.  Recycling this amount of glass would save over 4,000 tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent of taking around 1,300 cars off the road. 
  • Oxfam: Customers can recycle their clothing and other items like DVDs and books and support Oxfam at the same time.  In fact, Sainsbury’s customers are the largest Oxfam donor (outside of their own shops) with over 3,000 tonnes of clothing and over 600 tonnes of books, CDs and DVDs donated between May 2012 and May 2013.

The FSC logo is a guarantee that the wood or paper a product contains is not the result of illegal logging or damaging forestry practices. As well as greeting cards, the logo can be seen on forest-friendly wrapping paper, tissues, books, furniture, kitchen utensils, wooden gifts and a whole variety of forest products. FSC certified greeting cards are available at Sainsbury’s.

Logo - FSC

 Notes to editors

*Data from the FSC UK

**Research commissioned by Red Shift on behalf of Sainsbury’s.  The survey was conducted across the country with over 2,000 adults aged 18+ (including 1,000 parents)

About FSC at Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s stock a range of FSC certified products, and products featuring FSC certified packaging. 100% of Sainsbury’s own brand tissue and baking paper is FSC certified. Sainsbury’s hold FSC trademark license FSC-N001631. FSC certified Christmas cards are also available from Sainsbury’s.

Sainsbury’s zero waste to landfill

In June 2013, Sainsbury’s achieved its 20x20 sustainability target of putting all its store waste to positive use – and diverting it from landfill. Surplus food that can’t be used by our charity partners to feed vulnerable people is now processed into animal feed to support British farmers or used to generate energy through anaerobic digestion. And, all general waste from stores is recycled or turned into fuel.

Sainsbury’s recycling centres

Sainsbury’s modernised bring banks, managed by Palm Recycling, complement existing kerbside collections and aim to enhance recycling rates. They provide consistency for customers by offering standardised recycling containers for mixed paper and card, mixed glass, mixed plastics, mixed cans and textiles and books/CDs and DVDs for Oxfam.  Some also offer small WEEE recycling. The new centres are helping Sainsbury's achieve its 20x20 Sustainability Plan goal to provide the most comprehensive facilities for its customers to make it easier for them to recycle.

About the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)

FSC UK is a registered charity dedicated to protecting the world's forests. It promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests. The FSC's vision is for the world’s forests to meet the social, ecological, and economic rights and needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations. FSC runs a global forest certification system. The FSC logo allows consumers to identify, purchase, and use timber and forest products produced from well-managed forests and verified recycled sources. More than 180 million hectares of forest around the world are certified to FSC standards.  FSC UK is one of 44 National Partner organisations working to promote FSC in their own countries. For more information see

You will probably see the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) tick-tree logo on the back of at least one of your Christmas cards this year. The FSC label on a product is your guarantee that the wood or paper it contains is not the result of illegal logging or damaging forestry practices. As well as greeting cards, you can see the logo on forest-friendly wrapping paper, tissues, books, furniture, kitchen utensils, wooden gifts and a whole variety of forest products.


About the article

  • Posted on: 02 January 2014
  • Type of article: Press release


Email news service

Subscribe to receive news updates via email.

Sainsbury's Bank

Get the latest news from Sainsbury's Bank