Recycle cards at Marks & Spencer to help Woodland Trust

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Ballymena people can help the Woodland Trust by recycling their Christmas cards at the local Marks & Spencer store.

TV presenter and Woodland Trust supporter Dermot O’Leary is calling on the public to recycle their Christmas cards to help plant thousands of trees.

For every 1,000 cards dropped into M&S stores for recycling throughout January, a new tree will be planted in the UK. The Woodland Trust and M&S have set an ambitious target to collect and recycle 10 million Christmas cards in order to plant 10,000 trees.

Trees and woods offer countless benefits. They provide unique homes for wildlife; improve the air we breathe; enhance local landscapes; and can help to reduce flooding. Yet despite their undoubted importance, Northern Ireland remains one of the least wooded countries in Europe with just 8 per cent woodland cover compared to the European average of 44 per cent.

Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust in Northern Ireland, says: “Your support can help to reduce the massive amount of waste that could easily end up in landfill sites, while helping to turn unwanted waste into much-needed trees. We really hope that local people will play a part and make a small, but positive, contribution to the environment.”

TV and radio presenter Dermot O’Leary says: “When Christmas is over, it’s difficult to know what to do with yourself: no more Christmas jingles, no more TV specials, and no more mince pies! So, why not do some good? By popping to your local M&S you can recycle all your unwanted Christmas cards, and the Woodland Trust will be able to plant thousands of trees as a result.”

Last year 8,150,134 cards were collected, enabling the Woodland Trust to plant 8,150 trees throughout the UK.  The popularity of the scheme means it will run again this year. Special card collection bins will be in M&S stores* from 2 January to 31 January 2015.

Mike Barry, Director of Plan A at Marks and Spencer said: “This brilliant scheme plays an important role in helping our customers live a more sustainable lifestyle, a key part of our eco and ethical programme. Small steps taken by individuals can have a huge impact and the M&S collection boxes make it easy for anyone to get involved in preserving our natural habitats, simply by dropping off their Christmas cards at their local store.”

The Woodland Trust has been planting trees and standing up for woodland for 40 years. Today, the charity owns more than 1,000 woods which are open year-round for the public to enjoy free of charge.