Almost 40% of Brits admit to binning Christmas presents

17 Dec, 2021
  • 39% of people admit to having thrown away a Christmas present in the last five years, which equates to some 21 million people binning gifts according to research from Tesco Bank
  • Average value of thrown away gifts is £59
  • The presents most likely to disappear into the rubbish bin:
    1. Beauty & bathroom products (e.g. aftershave, toiletries, bath bombs, etc.)
    2. Chocolates
    3. Clothing (not socks)
    4. Mugs
    5. Candles
  • 47% of gift givers worry the presents they purchase will go unused or unwanted
  • The findings reveal people’s desire to have a ‘greener’ Christmas in 2021, 47% of people want to ensure the presents they buy are sustainable
  • Almost three in ten (29%) people would prefer a gift card to a wrapped present under the tree, and this rises to 38% of people in their 20s and 30s.


Ban Mahsoub, Head of Money Services at Tesco Bank, comments: “Christmas shopping is in full swing. Lists are written and shoppers will hit the high street for some of the busiest retail days of the year over the next couple of weeks. But despite all our best gifting intentions, many presents go unused, unloved and can end up in the bin.

“As we all become increasingly aware of our environmental impact, Christmas is the perfect time to think about sustainable gifting options. If you’re struggling to come up with the perfect present, consider letting your loved ones choose what they really want, by either asking what they would like or giving a gift card, allowing the recipient to buy their favourite item, try something new or catch up with friends and family.  Rethinking your usual approach to present buying could help you get it right first time to avoid unwanted gifts going to waste this year.’