In the last 12 months North Devon has embraced the demise of single-use plastics in a bid to save our oceans. But what about when it comes to the festive season?

We asked Plastic Free North Devon and Torridge to give us their top tips on a plastic free Christmas.

Claire Moodie, from Plastic Free North Devon, said: “The awareness of the global plastic crisis is driving one of the biggest social changes we have seen in a very long time which is challenging peoples values and how they view our natural environment.

“Reducing our plastic footprint is just the start but we hope it is the catalyst for increased conscious consumerism in every aspect of our lives, including our Christmas shopping.

“Some are further on than others in their ‘plastic free’ journeys but we can all start somewhere, just by consciously thinking about a products end of life before your purchase is a start and the conscious shift we want to see.

“Re-use wrapping paper, get creative in the kitchen to avoid plastic dipping pots and try the charity shops if your in need of some more decorations - we can all do something, however big or small, it all counts’.’

Here are some things everyone can do to reduce their plastic this Christmas:

North Devon Foodfest 2018.North Devon Foodfest 2018.

That’s a wrap

Many Christmas gift wraps and ribbons have plastic in, and are not widely recycled. A much more eco-friendly idea is to wrap your gifts with brown parcel paper and string. It’s cheaper, can be recycled, and you can use prints and stamps to create your own unique DIY wrapping paper.

Natural decorations

Why go for tinsel and plastic baubles when you can create beautiful Christmas decorations from nature? Pine cones, cinnamon sticks, dried fruit, sprigs of holly and mistletoe all make for cheap yet classy décor. Why not find a local workshop and create your own Christmas wreath too?

Plastic party

Christmas parties often make for a lot of waste with throwaway plastic cups, plates and cutlery. Be the eco-warrior at your party and take a stand! Use real cutlery and glasses instead of single-use and you could make a difference.

Make your own decorations from natural foliage. Getty Images/iStockphotoMake your own decorations from natural foliage. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Give reusable gifts

Reusable mugs, bottles, lunchboxes, cutlery and straws are on a trend right now, and make for excellent gifts. Give gifts that people will be able to use and make your stocking fillers good for the environment too.

Make your own

So many festive canapés and dips are heavily packaged, but you could save a lot on packaging – and cash – if you make your own. Dips are easy to make at home and you can cook up a batch of festive canapés without any of the plastic.

Shop local

So many businesses are registered with Plastic Free North Devon and Torridge and have committed to reducing their use of plastics. So commit with them and visit your local shops and markets for your festive shop. Many butchers will let you bring your own Tupperware and you can use reusable canvas bags for all your veg.

Send an e-greeting

We all love Christmas cards, but many of them come wrapped in plastic. Instead of all the waste for something most people just throw away, why not send an e-greeting or donate the money you would spend on cards to charity instead? Or, you could donate a few items to our Give A Gift appeal for the Foodbank.