Daily Mail - - Christmas Life -

6ft Can­nock Great Value Christ­mas Tree, £34.99, THE most pop­u­lar — and cheapest — ar­ti­fi­cial trees are made by shred­ding PVC plas­tic into tin­sel-like strands, and wind­ing them around metal branches.

‘These trees are the worst — PVC is one of the most toxic forms of plas­tic, be­cause of the chlo­rine mol­e­cules it con­tains,’ says Emma. ‘It’s very pol­lut­ing both be­cause of the en­ergy and re­sources used to make it, and if it’s burnt at the end of its life.’

PVC trees can’t be re­cy­cled, as the plas­tic and metal is mixed up. while it won’t cre­ate car­bon diox­ide, it never de­com­poses.

If you al­ready own one, re­duce its en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact with re­peated use. The Car­bon Trust es­ti­mates a plas­tic tree used for three years is bet­ter in car­bon foot­print terms than a real tree in land­fill. If it is used for eight years, it is bet­ter than a real tree that is burnt. Used for 12 years, it is bet­ter than a real tree that ends up as com­post. ‘af­ter­wards, do­nate it,’ sug­gests Emma. LOOKS: 2/5 ECO-FRIEND­LI­NESS: 5/5 (if reused for 12 years or more. Oth­er­wise: 1/5) SCORE: 7/10

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