19+ Zero-Waste Gift Ideas (UK)


Christmas is only getting closer and closer and the rush to find the perfect gift is real! Do you have all of your gifts sorted? If you don’t, you might want to consider some of the zero-waste gift ideas we’ve collected below.

Christmas is the time of year when waste is at an all-time high with wrapping paper, packaging, food waste and even unwanted presents ending up in the bin. Start a new trend this festive season by opting for gifts which are kinder to the environment by buying zero-waste products.

We have enough plastic in the sea and our landfill sites are full to the brim, so reducing waste at this busy time of year would be a super idea!



Kids toys and gifts always come with more packaging than is probably necessary, so why not have a look at some of these options to cut out the excessive amount of throwaway plastic in your home this Christmas?

Wooden Animal Set


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These wooden toys make a super gift for kids, which double up as pretty ornaments for their rooms when they’re not being played with. This Etsy seller also does custom orders, including wooden unicorns – who doesn’t love a unicorn?


Personalised Christmas Ornament

This would make a beautiful keepsake which could be brought out every Christmas and it could be their special job each year to add this personalised ornament to the tree!


Recycled Paper Colouring Pencils

Colouring in is a big part of childhood and getting arty is something some of us never grow out of! Get their imaginations running early on with a pack of recycled paper pencils – you could even pop in a lovely zero-waste sketchbook to complete the gift.


Elastic Hair Ties

Pop a set of festive hair ties in your little girls stocking this year – they come on recyclable cardboard packaging, so there’s no plastic in sight!


Zero-Waste Lunch Bag


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School lunches can be even more fun with a cool bag to keep your sandwiches in. This washable, velcro-closure lunch pack is the perfect present for kids.



It can be hard to find the perfect present for awkward teenagers, but if you’re lucky, they might just want some cash. For those that appreciate more thoughtful gifts, take a peek at the ideas below for some zero-waste gifts.



Reusable Cotton Face Wipes

Makeup seems to be a necessity for teenage girls these days and the cost of face wipes and cotton pads definitely adds up over time, not to mention the amount of waste produced every day. These little reusable cotton pads will help to keep waste to a minimum – perfect!


Vegan Skincare Kit


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All the products that get used during a heavy contouring session can wreak havoc on young skin, so caring for it in between makeup application can help to keep skin looking healthy and youthful. This Vegan skincare kit will help give faces the R’n’R they need to stay gorgeous.


Zero-Waste Menstruation Cup

It may not be the most festive of gifts, but this little cup saves you money as well as helping to reduce waste when it comes to feminine care. Plus, this present will be one that gets used every month!

These reusable panty liners would also make brilliant stocking fillers for young ladies.



Bamboo Charcoal Toothbrush Kit


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When teenagers smile (rare maybe…) they will want to have nice healthy teeth, so help them out with a bamboo charcoal toothbrush kit. Toothbrushes make up a lot of plastic waste since we’re meant to renew them every few months, so switching to bamboo is great!


Solid Shampoo & Conditioner

Inspire them to keep their locks clean with some shampoo and conditioner in solid form. This lasts a lot longer than your usual bottle and can be stored (plastic-free) in a tin until it runs out. Lush is the perfect shop to find solid shampoos and conditioners if you’re shopping on the high street.


Plastic-free Acne Cream

This could be a touchy subject for some teens, but it’s one that might need some attention. So, pop some of this zero-waste spot cream into their stocking!



Don’t just reach for that standard bottle of plonk this year, try a different approach and you could help reduce Christmas wastage.

Zero-Waste Hamper

Sometimes the best presents are practical things that you can use throughout the year and a zero-waste hamper could be made to suit just about anyone! Include food, toiletries or home cleaning items such as detergents, dishcloths or bamboo dish scrubbers, just make sure to keep it zero-waste.

Food can be wrapped in reusable beeswax wraps and bags or placed into fabric food bags and you could even add some bamboo cutlery into the mix. Toiletries could be in reusable glass jars and bottles. If you were feeling creative, you could have a go at making some of your own products!

Pop your chosen items into a lovely basket or woven hamper and Bob’s your uncle – an instant gift which anyone would be pleased to receive!


Metal, Bamboo or Glass Water Bottle

We should all stay hydrated over the festive season (and we’re not talking endless amounts of Prosecco or sherry) so a reusable water bottle would make a great gift. Metal and glass are supposed to make water taste better than it does when it’s in plastic – brilliant!



100% Plastic-free Stainless Steel Straws


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Christmas cocktails have never looked so cool – every hostess with the mostess will appreciate a set of funky, reusable metallic straws. These would make the perfect stocking-filler or even an add-on present to a nice bottle of gin! Completely plastic free straws are on the rise and we think glass or metal straws are actually better than paper ones too!


Zero-Waste Shopper Kit

Many of us like a good shopping trip, but they often end up with us carrying an armful of plastic carrier bags… cue this shopper kit, with bags of multiple sizes to help make shopping a little less… plastic! You might also want to check out these reusable produce bags for grocery shopping.


Headache Relief Eye Pillow

Hard workers need a little pampering every-so-often! This cooling or warming eye pillow will help to ease a headache, relieve sinus pain or just reduce the stresses of life with the soothing nature of rosemary.



Environmentally Friendly Razor

Most men need to shave in some shape or form, so why not save them the money they spend on disposable plastic razors and get them something that will last a heck of a lot longer? This razor is made from Scottish wood and takes standard double edge safety razor blades.


Personalised Bamboo Pen

Whether it’s writing down schedules in a diary or just making notes on the back of an envelope by the phone, pens are a necessary part of life. Make things that bit more special with a personalised bamboo pen – this one comes with a gift box too!


Bamboo Coffee Cup


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Lots of us rely on coffee to give us that energy hit that gets us through the day, but the wastage that comes from disposable cups is HUGE! Grab a reusable bamboo coffee cup for the caffeine fiend in your life.


Packaging and Wrapping

This is where a lot of the wastage comes from at Christmas time, so making an effort to cut down on the unnecessary extras is a really good idea. Depending on how crafty you are, you could try your hand at making re-useable drawstring bags or just constructing your own paper bags to house this year’s gifts.

If you’re using wrapping paper, why not go for recycled wrapping paper instead of glittery rolls of gift wrap? If you want some more wrapping inspo, take a look at this article from Glamour.


More Tips

There are plenty of ways to keep the festive gift giving waste to a minimum, here are a few more tips:

  • Give the gift of not giving – Not only will you both save money, there’ll be less stress and hassle trying to think up ideas. Oh yes, and there’s no waste whatsoever!
  • DIY your gifts – This means everyone gets something that has been made with love and it will mean a lot more than another set of bubble bath and body lotion…
  • Gift food – If you’re spending Christmas with loved ones, split the dinner bill by bringing along the turkey, a dessert or providing the tipple.
  • Vouchers and experiences – Send someone a digital code for an experience day or an online gift card to completely eliminate waste.

Don’t stress too much if you can’t go waste-free for everyone this Christmas, there’s always going to be things on their wishlists that have plastic packaging and other disposable materials. Just do your best and reduce waste wherever you can this festive season!


More Gift Ideas

Check out the other recommended zero-waste and plastic-free products below if you’re still stuck for ideas:

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