'Fear of being impolite' causing overbuying at Christmas

Christmas present

Brits are known for our politeness, but a fear of looking rude is apparently causing us to buy presents unnecessarily this Christmas.

According to new research from WWF, many of us are buying more than we need because we're scared of looking cheap (19 per cent), we feel guilty (17 per cent) or we don't want to be seen to have bad manners (eleven per cent). All this could add up to one or two unwanted presents each this Christmas, which doesn't sound a lot until you do the maths: that's 70 million presents we don't want this yuletide alone.

However, 23 per cent of adults polled plan to buy fewer presents this year compared to last year, with twelve per cent will give 'experience' gifts instead of physical ones and nine per cent intending to regift presents they have already received.

In fact, 53 per cent of adults say they'll try to have a more sustainable Christmas this year, says WWF. Ten per cent say they'll reduce their meat consumption over the festive season and a fantastic 93 per cent intend to recycle as much waste as possible.

WWF Christmas politeness 2

Unfortunately, there's a bit of confusion about what can and can't be recycled. Some 84 per cent of UK adults think most wrapping paper can be recycled (wrongly – a lot of it contains plastic), 62 per cent reckon used paper plates can go in the recycling bin (also no) and 62 per cent think Christmas ribbons and bows can be recycled (nope). According to the research, 24 of people who celebrate Christmas have thrown all their non-perishable waste in the bin in past simply because they're not sure what to do with it.

The WWF has released some top tips on reducing your festive footprint – and get inspiration for having a greener Christmas over on the socials via #FightForYourWorld.

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