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60m Christmas presents could be wasted this year, survey shows

60m Christmas presents could be wasted this year, survey shows

60 million presents could be wasted in the UK this year, according to a survey from YouGov, with Send a Cow calling for people to give more meaningful gifts instead.

The survey questioned 2,000 people in October and found that millions of pounds are wasted on unwanted gifts. Over half (57%) of people in the UK who celebrate Christmas receive at least one unwanted gift on average at this time of year, with 37% claiming they would be happy to receive a charitable donation as a present.

The survey revealed that at least £380 million is spent on Christmas presents for friends. Nearly half (48%) admitted they struggle to find good presents for their family and friends and bath products topped the given list of the nation’s least loved Christmas presents.

Top unwanted Christmas gifts:

  1. Bath products (38%)
  2. A film / boxset (18%)
  3. Candles (16%)
  4. Chocolate (16%)
  5. Socks (14%)

Send a Cow is calling for people to give more meaningful gifts this Christmas instead.

Send a Cow Ambassador Ben Aldridge said:

“This Christmas, we are calling on people everywhere to donate to charities like Send a Cow instead of spending their money on unwanted Christmas presents. My family is abolishing present giving between the adults in favour of redirecting that money towards causes that really need it. I don’t need any more novelty socks or cheap stocking fillers! The money wasted on those things could actually make a huge impact elsewhere.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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