A real fir or a plastic spruce – which is better for the environment?

Thanks to Sir David Attenborough bringing the issue of plastic, in all its forms, to the forefront of our minds this year, it raises the issue of which is more environmentally friendly when it comes to Christmas trees.

Do you dust off the plastic tree, bring in last year’s dormant sapling from the garden or head out into the high street or Christmas tree farm to get a new freshly harvested real tree?

The first decision is whether to opt for a real or artificial tree. A faux tree may keep its needles intact, but will probably be made from a petroleum-based product and may well have been flown in from China. Among the materials commonly used in the manufacture of artificial trees are PVC, polyurethane foam and steel. Although you may reuse it for several years, if your tree is not recyclable the chances are it will eventually linger for centuries in a land-fill site.

In the past, many of the real Christmas trees sold in the UK were transported from far-flung parts of Europe, but today a large number are grown in British plantations.

An advantage of a real tree is that while growing it absorbs the greenhouse gas CO2. However, growers can use chemical fertilisers and pesticides to control things such as aphids and rust mites, although these are generally only used if there is an outbreak in the spring of the year the tree is to be sold.

An increasing number of suppliers provide trees with their roots intact. These are either grown in a plantation then transferred to a pot, or grown from seed in a container.

So what do you think is better for the environment? Do you have a real tree or an artificial one? 

A real fir or a plastic spruce - which is better for the environment?

235 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Artificial Real Pine

What are your views?

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21st Dec 2018
Thanks for voting!
An artificial plastic one can be used countless times over the years ; I could never waste a living tree .
14th Dec 2018
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My trees artificial, but I've had it for years. Which means that for over 15 years I've not had a tree cut down. We need as many trees as possible to help combat global warming an pollution.

Particulary here in sheffield where I'm sure most of you will know the council has been cutting down trees with gay abandon -But that's a subject for another day!
13th Dec 2018
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I would say lets have real trees but dwarf ones sold in pots that can then go outside in the rest of the year and bought inside next Christmas. Eventually you should be able to sell them to a woodland trust and they can plant them and pay you plus you get another dwarf one in a pot. Now there is a good idea!
12th Dec 2018
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Those of us who own dogs and cats must use artificial trees as real trees are poisonous if chewed by our pets.
11th Dec 2018
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Real , not really up for discussion is it ? , your legacy of a plastic tree in a landfill decades after your are dust.
11th Dec 2018
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I know that plastic at the moment is a ecological disaster, but plastic is very much a part of our lives, what we really need to do is find uses for the waste we produce and make recycling a priority.
10th Dec 2018
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Real is good if it is small to suit your space, as it can be used for several years before planting out. However if like me guests and little ones are not so young, are not visiting; a nice fake can easily do the job. Smells can be created.
Purely my take on the issue and no lengthy job to put away after the glorious birthday celebration of Jesus 🙂
10th Dec 2018
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Always plastic. No Pine needle mess, always looks good, and you can use it for many, many years
Margaret Hart
8th Dec 2018
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For the environment I suppose a real tree as the people who sell them grow them all over again and the old ones can be used as compost for growing other things. Against that we paid quite a lot for an artificial tree and it lasted really well for over 40 years and in the new year will go in the garden to fil an empty space. I have never been able to have a real tree as I am very allergic to them so we’ve made the best of the plastic but we would never dump it as some people do.

As long as they are bought honestly and disposed of correctly a real tree must be the winner but I cant have one.
8th Dec 2018
Thanks for voting!
I would think plastic as it can be used countless times. I read that in the USA 10 years ago 20% of all Christmas trees were artificial and last year it was 40% so there is a trend.

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