Brits set to dominate festive ‘Naughty List’ with over £3bn of unwanted Christmas gifts

Brits are set to dominate the ‘Naughty List’ this Christmas with our festive waste expected to see over three billion pounds spent on unwanted gifts across December.

According to new research from Gumtree, despite more than half of Brits being conscious of environmental impact and striving to be our most sustainable selves, the festive season sees these good intentions go to waste – quite literally.

A third of us will let sustainability principles slip during the festivities, rising to 42% among Gen Zs. And with 43% feeling worse off this Christmas compared to previous years, it’s little wonder 68% admit financial strain is a central reason for buying cheaper, less sustainably considered gifts.

Brits are set to splash out £391 giving an average of 21 gifts this Christmas, equating to a whopping £19bn spent on 1.4 billion gifts nationwide.

This is in addition to also buying 13 items of clothing, 14 new decorations and 13 pieces of homeware to mark the festive season.

Research from circular economy platform Gumtree has found that although 41% have ‘eco-guilt’ over the amount of waste generated during Christmas, it remains the time of year when sustainable morals are put aside.

Gumtree’s Hannah Rouch said: “Despite many of us wanting to do our bit for the environment, it’s clear when push comes to shove, we turn to cheap, mass-produced items, resulting in tinsel-topped mountains of waste.

“This Christmas, we’re urging shoppers to think ‘why’ before they buy, as well as about where they’re buying from.”

Come spring, it’s predicted nearly a fifth of presents will no longer be used – totalling £3.5bn worth of discarded gifts.

Data from Gumtree backs this up, with listings in April hitting the highest point in the last 12 months.

During the festive season, 41% plan to list a possession on the second-hand market, believing it will make a good gift for someone else, with nearly two million Gumtree listings expected to go live in the four weeks before Christmas.

But at the other end of the spectrum, only a mere 14% are planning to buy a pre-loved gift for someone.

Nearly half (48%) believe we would be judged for giving a second-hand item as a gift, while more than a third (35%) believe a second-hand item wouldn’t be as good quality.

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