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Create a Christmas tree made of recycled materials and learn about Christmas tree recycling

We can all do our bit to be sustainable during this most wonderful time of year! Have a look at these top tips on Christmas tree recycling.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

christmas tree recycling

Key steps

  • Create a Christmas tree made of plastic bottles by removing the bottom and cutting strips to create ‘branches’. Layer them for a Christmas-tree effect.

  • Why not recycle your old tree? Plant it, donate it or get crafty – there are so many ways not to let it go to waste.

Make your Christmas tree extra green this year with our top tips on Christmas tree recycling. From showing you how to recycle an old Christmas tree to advice on making your own eco-friendly Christmas tree from waste material, this guides means you’ll be ready for a holly, jolly, sustainable Christmas this year.

Christmas tree recycling doesn’t just mean making your own. Give your old tree new life by planting it, donating it or turning it into gifts like soap and coasters.

Make your own Christmas tree: recycled materials tips and tricks

Here’s our simple step-by-step guide to creating your very own Christmas tree made of recycled materials.

  1. When choosing your recycled materials, plastic bottles are best.

  2. Creating a plastic bottle Christmas tree is simple – especially if you have a selection of green bottles.

  3. If your bottles aren’t already green, paint them!

  4.  Next, remove the bottoms of all your bottles.

    • Take care when using knives or scissors to cut the bottom off.

    • For the most effective look, cut the bottles to different sizes. Start by taking less than 2cm off the bottom and increase the cut off on each bottle.

  5. Next, cut from the open bottle down to the neck.

    • Cut in a line from bottom to top.

    • Leave a gap of around 2cm (or whatever size you’d like your ‘branches’ to be) and make a further cut.

    • Repeat the process around the bottle until the whole bottle body is cut into strips.

  6. Place the top of the bottle onto a flat surface and fold down the strips to create a Christmas tree layer.

  7. Stack your layers with the largest at the bottom, gradually making your way up to the smallest at the top.

  8. Glue the bottle bottoms together to create a base.

  9. Glue a bamboo stick, recycled balloon stick or thin pole to the top of your base.

  10. To create the ‘trunk’ of your Christmas tree, ensure you have removed all the bottle lids. Pierce a hole in the middle of each one.

  11. Slide the lids down the stick attached to the base, stacking them with the widest at the bottom and the smallest at the top.

  12. Add final finishing touches such as a star, glitter and lights to finish the look.

Xmas tree recycling: 5 sustainable ways to recycle your old Christmas tree

Whether you’ve got an artificial tree or you’ve picked up a real tree from your local farm, these tips will help you recycle it at the end of the season.

  1. Used a real, potted tree? Try planting it! Use this evergreen tree to add a bit of Christmas magic to your garden for years to come.

  2. Check for a local council or other removal service. Some areas will collect your old trees to recycle into wood chippings.

  3. If they don’t collect, do consider taking it down to your local recycling centre. You can also try chopping it up for firewood, adding it to compost or popping it into your green waste bin.

  4. If you have an artificial tree that’s still in good, usable condition, why not consider donating it? Plenty of places, from youth centres to retirement homes, would be happy to add it to their décor.

  5. Get crafty with your real tree. From homemade soaps made of pine needles to wooden coasters cut from the trunk there’s no limit to the uses of an old Christmas tree – only your imagination!

The Poll

Would you be more likely to buy a Cleaning or Laundry product that had a QR code visible on the pack over a product without a QR code? 

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Whether you want to know how to recycle Christmas trees or be creative and make your own from recycled materials, you’ve got everything you need right here. Now all you need to do is start your journey to a sustainable Christmas.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published