Canadians Set for a Green Christmas as Majority Recycle Gift Wrap Once Gift is Opened (55%), use LED Lights to Decorate Tree and Home (55%)

Majority (57%) Use Own Reusable Bags and Carts when Christmas Shopping, Six in Ten (62%) Say their Community has a Christmas Tree Recycling Program

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Toronto, ON – Canadians appear to be all set for a green Christmas this year, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of Waste Management. Many are taking steps to reduce the impact that they have on the environment over the holidays by doing things like recycling, reducing and conserving energy.

After Santa’s paid a visit and the gifts are all opened, most appear to be dealing with the mess in an environmentally-conscious manner as a majority (55%) of Canadians say they recycle the gift wrap, while fewer (23%) simply throw it out. Two in ten (18%) save it for future use, while 3% typically burn the wrapping paper when they’re done with it. Interestingly, Quebecers (63%) are most likely to say they recycle the paper, while Atlantic Canadians (42%) are least likely to say so.

When it comes to wrapping gifts, while a majority (56%) are using traditional wrapping paper most often, one quarter (24%) will typically wrap their gifts using re-usable bags, and one in ten (9%) will use recyclable wrapping paper. Six percent (6%) say they’ll give gifts that don’t require wrapping. Overall, three in ten (28%) say they purchase recycled wrapping paper, while one quarter (24%) do not. There appears to be some confusion on the subject, however, as one half (48%) are unsure as to whether the paper they buy is recycled or not.

Canadians aren’t stopping their green effort with wrapping paper; they’re finding ways to be more environmentally friendly in other area as well. Most (84%) know that they can recycle Christmas Trees, and six in ten (62%) say their community has a Christmas Tree recycling program. One in three (31%) aren’t sure if their community has one, and 7% say it doesn’t. Residents of British Columbia are most likely (73%) to be aware of a Christmas Tree recycling program in their community, followed by those living in Alberta (69%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (68%), Quebec (60%), Ontario (56%) and Atlantic Canada (56%).

Even when shopping for their holiday gifts, Canadians are staying green. A majority (57%) bring their own reusable bags and carts when at the mall, while just two in ten (21%) say they buy plastic bags, 4% purchase reusable bags and 3% buy paper bags. One in ten (14%), however, do not do any Christmas shopping at the mall. Interestingly, women (66%) are considerably more likely than men (49%) to bring their own reusable bags and carts, and those over the age of 55 (64%) are also among the most likely to do so. Regionally, once again Quebecers (65%) are most likely to bring their own bags, while Atlantic Canadians (44%) are least likely.

Moving from under the tree to on the tree itself, a majority (55%) of Canadians say that they use LED lights to decorate their Christmas Tree and their home, while few (19%) are still using traditional incandescent lights. Two in ten (17%) don’t use any lights, while 1% use some other type of light, and one in ten (8%) aren’t sure what kind of lights they use.

While three in ten (30%) Canadians say they don’t send out any Christmas cards, two in ten (16%) send them out digitally, while 7% are quite old-fashioned and write a hand-written letter to their friends and loved ones, and 3% send some other type of greeting. A majority (56%) of Canadians, though, still send paper Christmas cards through the mail.

When entertaining at their home over the Christmas season, many Canadians are using disposable products, many of which can be recycled. A majority (54%) are using disposable napkins, while others are using disposable plates (31%), cups (23%), or cutlery (21%). Four in ten (41%) aren’t using any disposable products when entertaining.

When the meal is over, the most common thing for Canadians to do is simply throw out their table scraps (43%), while three in ten (30%) compost them, and nearly three in ten (27%) take some other action with their scraps. Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are most likely (65%) to throw out their scraps, while Atlantic Canadians (52%) are most likely to compost their table scraps.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between November 3 and 9, 2011 on behalf of Waste Management. For this survey, a sample of 1,014 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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Canadians Set for a Green Christmas as Majority Recycle Gift Wrap Once Gift is Opened (55%), use LED Lights to 
Decorate Tree and Home (55%)


Sean Simpson
Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs