Millions of Christmas candles are heading to the landfill this month

candle in gray holder with red berries in background

The holiday season has come and gone, but part of our Christmas
decorations will be here forever — or at least for the next 1,000
years. Millions of candles are heading to the landfill this
January, and when it comes to holiday waste, candles are some of
the worst offenders, according to a new report from business
waste management
service Business
Waste
.

The popularity of candles is soaring. Not only were they
on-trend for holiday gifting, but the Scandinavian trend of
hygge
is also playing a big part in the candle obsession. The Danish term
that means “creating a warm atmosphere” has become a lifestyle
goal for many and often includes luxurious blankets and glowing
candles.


Related: Time to put the flame out — scented candles can cause
disease and poor air quality

But the environmental impact of this big increase in candle
sales can’t be underestimated. The plastic holders for popular
tea light candles and the plastic wrap that many candles are
packaged in wreak havoc on the environment, because
most people aren’t recycling. Instead, the plastic casings and
packaging (or the glass and metal casings) are ending up in
landfills for up to 1,000 years.

Household recycling is on the rise, but most people are focusing
on food packaging, so things like candles are still ending up in
the landfill.

“As relaxing as a candle-lit room in the depths of winter can
seem, households need to be aware that their choices as consumers
have a direct impact on the environment,” said Mark Hall,
communications director at Business Waste. “We see novelty
candles flood the shelves throughout the run-up to Christmas, and
while they make a nice, cheap gift, their long term impact is just
not worth the brief enjoyment they bring.”

In addition to the poor recycling rates of the
packaging, most candles also have paraffin, which is a by-product
of petroleum. When you burn these candles, it releases carbon
dioxide. If you do choose to burn candles throughout the year,
there are beeswax and soy alternatives which are much more
eco-friendly. Aim to avoid plastic packaging, and properly recycle
or reuse glass or metal components.

+ Business
Waste

Image via Pitsch

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
Millions of Christmas candles are heading to the landfill this month