Can You Recycle Artificial Christmas Trees?

Throughout America, one holiday that people look forward to is the Christmas holiday. The holiday reeks of celebrations and enough time to share the love with family and friends. To celebrate this, one thing does not go missing. And that is the Christmas tree. Christmas trees are a symbol of Christmas celebration, and as far as Americans are concerned, they are integral to the celebration.

This state of things makes the Christmas tree very popular. You probably will lose count if you decide to number Christmas trees during the Christmas season. Without a doubt, this shows that we are united in our celebration and love sharing. As good as this is, there are yet some things we need to be concerned about.

What happens after the Christmas celebration ends? Wait, did you just whisper that they are of no use? Relax, there might still be one or two things to do with them.

In this post, our focus will be on artificial Christmas trees, and we will consider some salient questions. We shall be looking at whether artificial Christmas trees are recyclable and are fire retardant. We will also consider if they are bad for the environment and whether they are toxic to cats. Finally, we will dive into how to properly dispose of your artificial Christmas trees.

There’s a lot to learn from this post, and as you can see, you can’t afford to miss them. So, what to do? Simply relax and follow through.

Are Artificial Christmas Trees Recyclable?

Deciding to use artificial Christmas trees for your Christmas decoration is perfectly ok. It covers up for the aesthetics and you can hardly tell the difference between the real and artificial trees. On the other hand, however, is this the case for recycling? The real Christmas trees maybe not pose many environmental issues, but can we say the same for the artificial ones?

The answer is No. Shocked? Artificial Christmas trees may give aesthetic joy during the celebration. But after this, that may mark the end. You may probably wonder why this is so, particularly since you already know that artificial Christmas trees are plastic materials. Well, we wondered also, but we have found the answer. Hang around a second to know what’s the cause.

Artificial Christmas trees are plastics, but they are plastics known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC). They are made with this kind of plastic because of their use. While you may have heard that plastics are recyclable, you may not have heard the full story. For polyvinyl chloride plastics, they are in no way recyclable. And since artificial trees are made with them, we can conclude that the trees are also not recyclable.

This may be sad, but it is the true state of things. Next time you are shopping for Christmas trees, always have it in mind that they are not recyclable. Since they are not recyclable, they are destined for landfills. Here, they cause some problems for the environment, which may affect every one of us. We will still expatiate on this later in this post, but first, let us consider whether artificial Christmas trees are fire retardant. Ready? Sure, let’s dive in.

Are Artificial Christmas Trees Fire Retardant?

For many people that have come across this question, they have often mixed up some germane things. One of which is mixing up the meaning of fire retardant and fire-resistant.

Artificial Christmas trees being fire retardant means helping to slow down the spread of fire. This is different from preventing fire. It is important you know this to avoid placing extra reliance on artificial Christmas trees.

Are artificial Christmas trees fire retardant? The answer is yes. Surprisingly, artificial Christmas trees can help you slow down the spread of fire in your home or anywhere else. Why is this so by the way? Well, this is because of the kind of plastics they are made with. Though the polyvinyl chloride plastics may not be recyclable, what they miss here, they gain in slowing down the spread of fire.

Nonetheless, the fact that they are fire retardant does not mean you should treat them with carelessness. Remember you are dealing with fire, which can be extremely dangerous and easily get out of hand. This means that you should not intentionally test your artificial Christmas trees’ fire retardance by dropping them in the fire. Rather, use them as decorations in your home. And in the case of a fire outbreak, you may have some faint solace that it would slow down the spread.

Aside from this, you should always guard your home against fire incidents. This will help you a lot, rather than hoping artificial Christmas trees would come through for you.

All in all, use your artificial Christmas trees for decorations. If there is a fire where you store or put them, there might be some hope. Aside from that, always guard your home against fire.

Are Artificial Christmas Trees Bad For The Environment?

It might be tempting to think that artificial Christmas trees are good in their natural self, but this might just be a thought taken too far. True, artificial Christmas trees help add beauty to the environment during the yuletide period. But beyond this, can we authoritatively speak on their best for the environment. Well, hang around; you are about to find out.

Artificial Christmas trees are bad for the environment in many different ways. If you have been following from the top, you should be able to narrow this down to the fact that they are not recyclable. Let’s take a closer look.

1. They Are Not Recyclable

While we cannot make a blanket claim that all non-recyclable materials are bad for the environment, for artificial Christmas trees, it is different. The reason artificial Christmas trees are not recyclable is because of the materials they are made with. Due to this, they may all end up in the landfill, where they begin another life in the environment.

2. They Take Time To Biodegrade

Artificial Christmas trees not being recyclable would not have generated much concern if their materials don’t take time before they biodegrade. As you have seen above, artificial Christmas trees come from plastic materials. And plastic materials are known to take up extremely long years before they biodegrade.

On average, plastics take hundreds of years before they biodegrade. Even when they do, they don’t completely disappear from the environment. Rather, they reduce to microplastics, which remain in the soil, unable to be consumed by the soil. Some intervening factors like flooding and winding could displace the plastic materials to unwanted places before this occurs. Here, they could cause harm to sea animals if they end up in the sea.

3. They May Be A Major Cause of Carbon Footprints

While you may be tempted to think that the artificial Christmas trees are harmless, there is more you don’t know. For instance, it has been discovered that an artificial Christmas tree of about two meters may be capable of producing double carbon footprints than a real tree will produce. If and when it is burned, the situation gets worse and worse. This is why it is considered as bad for the environment.

When you consider all these and many more, you realize that beyond the yuletide hype of artificial Christmas trees, they may just be out to cause danger to the environment.

So, next time Christmas is approaching, you may want to focus on shopping for real Christmas trees. These are friendly to the environment and have no known harm.

Are Artificial Christmas Trees Toxic To Cats?

Coming across this kind of question may seem out of the ordinary. Of all things that there are, is it cats and artificial Christmas trees that are of concern? Well, yes. If you consider that many people who decorate their houses with artificial Christmas trees have pets like cats, it may begin to make sense.

So, let’s assume that is a priority; can we consider if artificial Christmas trees are toxic to cats?

Yes, artificial Christmas trees may be toxic to cats. Before we even broach further. Let’s point out the obvious thing. Pets, particularly cats, are fascinated by new things. They tend to be attracted to them and want to explore them. When they do, they are likely to get injured in the process, as the tree is not as strong as the real ones.

Aside from this, artificial Christmas trees could also irritate cats because of some liquid on the trees. There might also be some pins and needles used to hold down decorations on the trees. If your pets are fond of climbing the trees, they may get injured by the pins or might swallow them. We all know that this does not have a happy ending for you or your pets. So, you have to ensure you prevent this from happening.

The tinsels on your Christmas trees could also attract your cats and appear as food. This could make them swallow it and cause internal blockage, which could cause death. There is also the possibility that the Christmas tree may have ethylene glycol, which can be very toxic for the cat.

If your cats consume some of the ornaments on the trees, this ethylene glycol could break in their mouth and lead to illness. The ornament’s wires may also be toxic for the cats. In all, it is in the decorator’s best interest to prevent their cats from coming in frequent contact with the artificial Christmas trees.

How To Dispose Of Old Artificial Christmas Trees?

There are different ways to dispose of your artificial Christmas trees. The likely problem is that you don’t know much about this, and you need a little guidance. Well, that is why we are here; we will do that for you.

Some of the ways to dispose of your old artificial Christmas trees are

1. Donate Them

If your artificial Christmas trees are still in good condition, you can donate them. Many charity homes will be willing to accept it for their yuletide decorations.

2. Gift Them

Christmas is about loving and giving to people. You can kickstart your Christmas by giving out your artificial Christmas trees to your colleagues, neighbor, or just anybody. However, you have to ensure that they are in the right conditions so that the collector can make good use of them.

3. Put Them At The Curbside

Putting your trees at the curbside is another way to dispose of your trees. The thing is, many curbside companies accept artificial Christmas trees, so you don’t have to worry. However, you may want to confirm from your local curbside company to be on the safer side.


Christmas is a time for enjoyment, laughter, and love. Artificial Christmas trees are part of what make those moments memorable, and we must do all that matters to ensure that they are cared for. We have already covered these areas above, so you have all that you need to make a change.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.